Ming Tree

Bucida spinosa
Common Names: Ming Tree, Brier-tree, Prickly tree, Spiny Black Olive

Family: Combretaceae

Habit: Bucida spinosa grows as a shrub or small tree up to 8 meters in height with a trunk to 20 cm in diameter. The branches divaricate creating a horizontally flattened, zigzag branching system. Spines occur below leaf attachments. The glabrous leaves are sessile, oblanceolate, to 3 cm in length with and entire margin and obtuse leaf apex.

The actinomorphic flowers are arranged in short spikes. The calyx has 5 fused greenish sepals. There is no corolla. There are 8 or 9 unfused stamens in 2 series. The ovary is inferior with a single locule and seed becoming a drupe at maturity.

Habitat: Bucida spinosa grows primarily in wet, coastal Dry Broadleaf evergreen Formation- Woodlands and Shrublands (coppice and wet savannahs).

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Bucida spinosa occurs on Andros, New Providence Abaco, Grand Bahama and Eleuthera as well as the Florida Keys, Cuba, and Mexico.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Bucida spinosa is used in the horticultural industry for its unique branching pattern as well as for creating bonsai’s.

Bucida spinosa has no known medicinal uses in the Bahamian Archipelago.