Endemic Plant Facts - September 2010 - Marlierea sintenisii

Photo of the Marlierea sintenisii/Buruquillo
Drawing: USDA Forest Service Collection

Beruquillo (Sp.), (No common Eng. name), Marlierea sintenisii (Sci.), sensitive endemic plant, Luquillo mountains northeastern Puerto Rico.

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

General Information:

Family- Myrtaceae, Genus- Marlierea, Species- M. sintenisii: rare shrub or small tree known only to the Dwarf Forest of the Luquillo Mountains. First collected by P. Sintenis and rediscovered in 1940 by Leslie R. Holdridge.


M. sintenisii is a small evergreen shrub, 10 to 13 feet (3 to 3.9 meters) in height, or a small tree to 30 feet (9 meters) and 6 inches (15 centimeters) in trunk diameter.  Twigs and branches are covered with short, rusty-brown hairs when immature, which become gray with age. Stalkless leaves are 1 ½ to 3 inches (3.8 to 7.6 centimeters) long and up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) wide, shiny, coppery-red when immature. Hairy flowers, less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) long, including stalk, cluster from sides of twigs. Fruits contain two elliptical, shiny-brown seeds, ¼ inch (0.6 centimeters) long. The Beruquillo flowers and fruits from spring to autumn.


M. sintenisii is a rare species occurring in upper Luquillo Mountains (El Yunque NF) dwarf forest type above 2,500 foot (762 meter) elevation in northeastern Puerto Rico.


M. sintenisii 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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