return to: checklist; keys; family Malpighiaceae

Malpighia glabra L.; wayakte'

Shrub or small tree; leaves opposite, simple, ovate, margin entire, apex acute to acuminate; flowers somewhat clustered on short side-shoots; calyx dominated by paired green glands; petals pink, with narrow stalk-like base (claw), spoon-shaped (spatulate), the uppermost with a fringed margin; anthers yellow; fruit a small red drupe, edible.

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Standley (1930) reports edible, medicinal, and industrial uses: the juicy fruits, somewhat acid in taste, are eaten raw or made into preserves; a bark decoction has been used to treat diarrhea; and the bark has also been used to tan leather. Listed as an important source of pollen and/or nectar for bees (Souza Novello 1981, Suarez Molina 1981).