- History and Culture
Stillingia lineata is a shrub that can reach 10 meters tall and is usually branched. A milky and abundant latex is present in its smooth bark, stems and leaves. It is a heterophyllous plant; the juvenile leaves are slender, lanceolate, with a finely toothed margin. A very pretty red ribbon-shaped rib adorns the dark green shiny limb. The leaves grouped at the end of the branches, are narrow and oval in shape and acute at the top with a blue-green hue. Its Inflorescence has small male and female flowers and rounded three-lobed fruit with very finely pitted, smooth gray seeds.
Endemic to the Mascarenes, it grows at low and medium altitude areas and in more or less dry regions. This species is common in these areas and regenerates well, the seeds are dispersed by birds and many seedlings can be seen in the wild.
The plant is classified as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List. It is used in forest restoration projects and widely used in landscaping. The population is declining due to habitat loss and the invasion of exotic plants.
The edges of the leaves are toothed and contain a latex that causes burns to the skin, hence its English vernacular name whose English translation (fang) means croc or hook.