Endemic Plant Facts - March 2009 - Palo de Jazmín

Photo of the Palo de Jazmín/Styrax portoricensis
Photo: USDA-Forest Service archive

Palo de Jazmín (Sp.), Styrax portoricensis (Sci.), endemic species Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico.

Information compiled by Alan Mowbray, USDA Forest Service,
El Yunque National Forest – 2009.

General Information:

Class-Magnoliopsida, Order-Ebenales, Family-Styracaceae (Storax family), Genus-Styrax (Snowbell). Species-S. portoricensis. One of the rarest endemic trees of Puerto Rico is known to occur only in the northeastern Luquillo Mountains (Sierra de Luquillo) and the north-central Cayey mountains (Sierra de Cayey).


Palo de Jazmín is an evergreen tree that can reach 65 feet (19.8 meters) in height. It is recognized by star-shaped hairs on twigs, veins of lower leaf surfaces, branches of flower clusters, flowers and fruits; elliptically shaped leaves, 2 ¾ to 4 ¾ inches (6.9 to 12 centimeters) long and 1 ¼ to 2 inches (3 to 5 centimeters) wide, with six to seven ½ inch (1.2 centimeter) star-shaped whitish flowers drooping on short curved stalks. It has pointed gray-green fruit with cup-shaped outer leaves (calyces) for protection. It flowers in September, and October; fruits in April.


Very rare in Luquillo and Cayey mountains; El Yunque NF and Carite State Forest.


Currently listed under section (4) (C) 2 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 with a classification of Endangered on the list of Endangered or Threatened Wildlife and Plants (50 CFR 17.11 – 17.12).

Additional Information:

Tropical Vegetation Specialist
USDA Forest Service
El Yunque National Forest
HC-01 Box 13490
Rio Grande, PR 00745
Telephone: 787 888 1810

Caribbean Field Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Box 491
Boquerón, PR 00622
Telephone: (809) 851-7297

Illustration/Link of the Sintenis' Holly/Ilex sintenisii
Illustration/Link of the Luquillo Mountain Lidflower/Calyptranthes luquillensis
Photo/Link of the Palo de Jazmín/Styrax portoricensis
Photo/Link of the Maga Tree/Arbol de Maga
Photo/Link of the Palo Colorado tree, Ternstroemia luquillensis
Photo/Link of the Capá Rosa, Callicarpa ampla
Photo/Link of the El Yunque Colorado, Ternstroemia subsessilis
Photo/Link of the Puerto Rico Royal Palm/Palm Real Puertorriqueña
Photo/Link of Guerrero
Photo/Link of Lepanthes eltoroensis
Illustration/Link of the Pleodendron macranthum/Chupacallos
Illustration/Link of the Luquillo Mountai Stopper/Uvillo