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Floristic Inventory of the Florida Keys Database Online

Exostema caribaeum (Jacq.) Roem. & Schult.
Caribbean princewood

Exostema caribaeum
Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011

Family: Rubiaceae

Group: Dicot

Substrate: Terrestrial

Habit: Tree

Perennation: Perennial

Native Range: South Florida, the West Indies, Mexico and Central America.

NatureServe Global Status: Secure

State of Florida Status: Endangered

Florida Natural Areas Inventory State Status: Imperiled

IRC SOUTH FLORIDA Status: Critically Imperiled

Map of South Florida Locations

SOUTH FLORIDA Occurrence: Present

SOUTH FLORIDA Native Status: Native

SOUTH FLORIDA Cultivated Status: Cultivated

Comments: This is native to the Florida Keys from Elliott Key in Biscayne National Park south to Key West, where it is possibly extirpated. One specimen was collected in 1910 on the mainland in historical Brickell Hammock by J.W. Harshberger (s.n. NY). There are no other records from the South Florida mainland or from offshore barrier islands. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.

See also, IRC’s report Vascular plant species of management concern in Everglades National Park (Gann 2015), page 18.

FLORIDA KEYS Occurrence: Present

FLORIDA KEYS Native Status: Native

IRC FLORIDA KEYS Status: Critically Imperiled

Map of Florida Keys Locations

Florida Keys History and Distribution: First collected between 1838 and 1853 by John Loomis Blodgett on the island of Key West.  Reported in 1913 by John Kunkel Small for hammocks from the upper Keys to the lower Keys.  We consider this native and extant from the upper Keys to the lower Keys.

Other data on Exostema caribaeum available from :


Exostema caribaeum has been reported from the following 8 conservation areas in the FLORIDA KEYS :
Occurrence Native Status
Attwood Addition, Indian Key Historic State Park Present Native
Biscayne National Park, Florida Keys Section Present Native
Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge Present Native
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammocks Botanical State Park Present Native
Dove Creek Hammocks, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Present Native
National Key Deer Refuge Present Native
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park Assumed to be Present Native




Exostema caribaeum has been reported for the following habitat in THE FLORIDA KEYS :
Rockland Hammock


All Images:

Exostema caribaeum
Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011

Exostema caribaeum
Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Exostema caribaeum
Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo, Florida, 2013