Ximenia americana var. americana

Treatment appears in FNA Volume 12. Treatment on page 405.

Shrubs or small trees, to 12 m. Leaves: blades elliptic, lanceolate, ovate, obovate, or orbiculate, 1.3–10 cm, apex retuse, obtuse, or acute, with or without 0.5–1 mm mucro; venation eucamptodromous. Inflorescences 2–10-flowered; peduncles 1–15 mm. Pedicels 4–12 mm. Flowers: sepals 0.5–4 mm, ciliate; petals yellow, pale yellow, yellowish green, or white, 4.5–12 mm, recurved at maturity; stamen filaments 2.5–6 mm; anthers 1.5–4.5 mm; style 2.5–5.5 mm. Drupes 1–3.5 × 1.1–3 cm. Seeds 1.5–2.5 × 1.1–2 cm. 2n = 24.

Phenology: Flowering Apr–May(–Nov); fruiting year-round.
Habitat: Pinelands, hammock margins, coastal scrub, coastal sand dunes.
Elevation: 0–30 m.


Fla., Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Asia, Africa, Indian Ocean Islands, Pacific Islands, Australia.


R. A. DeFilipps (1968, 1969) recognized three varieties of Ximenia americana, with the pantropical var. americana occurring in peninsular Florida. The other varieties occur in Argentina (var. argentinensis DeFilipps) and Africa (var. microphylla Welwitsch ex Oliver). From greenhouse pot studies, DeFilipps (1969b) determined that X. americana is able to exist without a host, thus it should be considered a facultative hemiparasite. The flowers are fragrant and presumably insect pollinated. The anthers dehisce before the flower bud opens and the adaxial hairs on the petals may serve to present the pollen (P. B. Tomlinson 1980). Variety americana shows different growth forms on different substrates; plants on sandy coastal areas are sprawling shrubs with orbiculate, fleshy leaves, whereas plants in forests and scrublands are trees with oblong to oblanceolate, thin leaves.

Ximenia inermis Linnaeus, an illegitimate and superfluous name, pertains here.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

Daniel L. Nickrent +
Linnaeus +
Fla. +, Mexico +, West Indies +, Central America +, South America +, Asia +, Africa +, Indian Ocean Islands +, Pacific Islands +  and Australia. +
0–30 m. +
Pinelands, hammock margins, coastal scrub, coastal sand dunes. +
Flowering Apr–May(–Nov) +  and fruiting year-round. +
Illustrated +
Ximenia americana var. americana +
Ximenia americana +
variety +