Endemic Plant - Ravenia urbanii

Photo of the Ravenia urbanii/Tortugo Prieto
Photo © – Dr. Luis O. Nieves

Tortugo Prieto (Sp.), (no English common name), Ravenia urbanii (Sci.), endemic plant, Luquillo mountains and upper Cordillera Central, Puerto Rico.

Information compiled by Alan Mowbray, USDA Forest Service,
El Yunque National Forest – 2010.

General Information:

Order- Sapindales, Family- Rutaceae, Genus- Ravenia, Species- R. urbanii. A small, flowering tree from the same family as oranges, lemons and grapefruit – named for German biologist Ignatz Urban (1848-1931), noted authority on West Indian plants.


Tortugo Prieto is a small, evergreen tree, growing to a height of 25 feet (7.6 meters), with a trunk diameter of 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) and a narrow crown. It can be recognized by its stalk-less, elliptical, short pointed leathery dark-green leaves with tiny gland dots, and a small number of gaudy, crimson, tubular flowers at the base of the leaves. It has dry, brown, pod-like fruits, each with one or two seeds. Flowers and fruits throughout the year.


R. urbanii occurs rarely in upper Luquillo and Cordillera Central forest regions in eastern Puerto Rico between 1,500 and 3,000 feet (457 and 914 meters) elevation.


R. urbanii is currently listed as “sensitive” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Additional Information:

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

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