Saturday, 26 April 2014

Duppy Bush and Duppy Bush Moth

CaymANNature Flora photos

Duppy Bush 

Duppy Bush Phyllanthus angustifolius (Sw.) Sw  Family: EUPHORBIACEAE, Vulnerable 

Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Swan Islands (Honduras) 

Seaside Laurel - Jamaica (Flowering Plants of Jamaica, 1972. C.D. Adams p.410)

Foliage Flower, Sword Bush - US – not native
Duppy Bush grows very easily in different habitats, seeds itself and is a good landscaping plant - as a hedge or stand-alone shrub.

Shrub, monoecious (separate staminate and pistillate flowers on the same plant), leaves absent except on seedlings or when the plant starts to grow after being cut back to the ground. Flowers are in small staminate or bisexual clusters at notches of the PHYLLOCADES - green flattened stems, ALTERNATE, that resemble leaves.
Flora of the Cayman Islands, Proctor 2012 p.444, Fig.159, Plates 37 & 38. 

 This plant had been cut back to the ground and has little, rounded leaves

Duppy Bush flowers and fruits on the edge of the flattened stems (phyllocades).
Duppy Bush growing on Grand Cayman's IRONSHORE, (foreground).
Photo: Ann Stafford, north coast, March 19, 2004.

Duppy Bush flowers & fruits, Will Burrard-Lucas photo
Will Burrard-Lucas, wildlife photographer, visited the Cayman Islands in May, 2012.
Duppy Bush Moth

Duppy Bush Moth or White-tipped Black moth - Melanchroia chephise (Cramer), Family: GEOMETRIDAE.

Duppy Bush moth on Snake Wood / Red Heart - Colubrina arborescens
Family: RHAMNACEAE, Critically Endangered.
Photo: Ann Stafford, Grand Cayman, June 28, 2009.
 The Duppy Bush day-flying moth caterpillar is a looper.
The larvae do not seem to harm Duppy Bush - Phyllanthus angustifolius, one of thier larval food plants.
However, Melanchroia chephise larvae also feed on leaves and bark and can strip and kill Phyllanthus acidus trees – Chellamella (Cayman), Gooseberry (Guyana), Otaheite Gooseberry, West Indian Gooseberry and other common names.
Photo: Lois Blumenthal, Grand Cayman, Sept. 2, 2008.

Chellomello, West Indian Gooseberry, Otaheite Gooseberry - Phyllanthus acidus  (L.)

This tree is called Chellomello or Chellamella in Cayman

(Flora of the Cayman Islands, Proctor 2012 p.440).

In Jamaica it is called Cheramina, Jimbling,  Otaheite Gooseberry, Short Jimbelin, Jimbilin.
(Flowering Plants of Jamaica, 1972, C.D. Adams, p.407 and 376.)
 It is also called West Indian Gooseberry.  Tahiti was formerly known as Otaheite.  

Phyllanthus acidus is probably native to northeast coast of Brazil and has been frequently wrongly been ascribed to Madagascar, India or Polynesia. It is cultivated pan-tropically.
Flowering Plants of Jamaica, 1972, C.D. Adams, p.407 and 376.
Flora of the Cayman Islands, 2012, George R. Proctor, p.440.

CaymANNature Flora photos


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