Common Name: Prince Wood
Habit: Exostema caribaeum
grows as a slender shrub to small tree up to twelve meters in height.
The bark is grayish in color and develops horizontal fissures with
age. The leaves are arranged oppositely and are up to 12 centimeters
long. The leaves are lanceolate in shape with slightly undulating but
entire leaf margin. Between the opposite leaves, there is an
The solitary flowers occur in leaf
axils. The calyx and corolla are fused at their base into a
hypanthium. The calyx is five lobed, cylindrical, 0.5 centimeters in
length, and greenish. The corolla is white (turning orange brown
with age), salverform in shape, and produces an extended tube that is
five or more centimeters long with five elongated lobes. There are
five stamens fused to the top of the hypanthium. The ovary is
inferior. The fruit is a brown capsule that opens along suture lines.
The capsule produces many dark colored, winged seeds up 0.5
centimeters in length.
Habitat: Exostema caribaeum
grows on a solid limestone substrate in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen
Formations (Coppice) as well as in Pine Woodlands.
Distribution in Bahamas/Globally:
Exostema caribaeum occurs on all islands within the Bahamian
Archipelago as well as rest of the Caribbean region, Florida, Mexico
and Central America.
Exostema caribaeum bark extracts are used in the Bahamas to
treat issues of anemia, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, to increase appetite,
low blood pressure, stomach aches, and ring worm. It is also used in
general strengthening teas. Extracts from the bark have been used to
treat fevers especially those related to Malaria. Extracts from the
bark have been mixed with alcohol to increase the level of
In other areas of the Caribbean a
related species E. santae-luciae has been used to treat women
after giving birth to clear the womb of the placenta.
Given the large fragrant, showy flowers
Exostema caribaeum is now used in the horticultural trade.