Monographs Details: Haemocharis portoricensis Krug & Urb.
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - Among the many endemic, mountain forest trees of Porto Rico, this is one of the most elegant when in bloom, with large white flowers, conspicuous among dark green leaves; it is restricted in distribution to middle and higher elevations in the eastern mountain range. The tree is the largest of the Tea Family in Porto Rico, and the only species of its genus here; no English name is in use for it.
Haemocharis (Greek, blood-plant, from the red wood), is a genus with about 15 species of trees and shrubs, natives of tropical America, and the East Indies; it was established in 1806, by the English botanist Salisbury, based upon Gordonia haematoxylon Swartz, a tree endemic in Jamaica.Their leaves are mostly alternate, their nearly stalkless flowers axillary. There are 5, unequal sepals, and the 5 petals are slightly coherent at the base; the many stamens are slightly coherent, or more or less united, into 5 sets; the several-celled ovary has several ovules in each cavity and the styles are short, or none. The fruit is an angled, or ribbed capsule, which opens longitudinally, releasing the seeds.
Haemocharis portoricensis (endemic in Porto Rico), reaches maximum height of about 20 meters, with a trunk up to about 1 meter in diameter; the bark is fissured, the twigs finely hairy, or smooth. The elliptic to obovate, rather thin, blunt leaves are from 5 to 12 centimeters long, their margins bluntly toothed, the bases narrowed to the very short stalks. The showy, white flowers are nearly stalkless; the larger sepals are orbicular, about 12 millimeters in diameter, puberulent; the obovate, notched petals,about 2 centimeters long, fall away soon after unfolding. The oval, 6-10-ridged capsule is 2 or 2.5 centimeters long.
Discussion:Niño de cota
Haemicharis portoricensis Krug and Urban, Botanischer Jahrbucher 21: 548. 1896.
Wickstroemia portoricensis Blake, Contributions from the Gray Herbarium 53: 40. 1918.