OlacaceaeOlax family

  - Leaves simple, alternate, entire, distichous, without stipules.
  - Meager white latex in petiole, petioles curved upward.
  - Weak ridges on side of twig.
  - Small, white flowers in leaf axils.
  - Fruit a black 1-seeded berry with red, plate-shaped large calyx.

Diagnosis: Understory treelet with simple, alternate, entire, distichous leaves, lacking stipules, fine ridges on side of twig, petiole curved upward and often with meager white latex.

Local distribution: Upper pacific slope from about 1200 to 1500 m, but not found in cloud forest.

Similar families
Annonaceae: stringy bark, aromatic odor.
Ebenaceae: black layer in bark, petiole straight.
Erythroxylaceae: semi-persistent brown stipules.
Solanaceae: petiole straight, grooved, twig forms a socket for petiole base.

Diversity: Total: 1 genus, 1 species. Trees: 1 genus, 1 species.

Comments: The expanded red, plate-shaped calyx supporting a round black berry is the most distinctive feature of this small understory treelet. It is usually a job to find the latex. Called "berry on a platter" by local biologists. A second species occurs just outside our area on the Atlantic slope.

Credits: Images and text copyright 2000-2007, William A. Haber, http://efg.cs.umb.edu/