- History and Culture
S. latifolium is a small tree, with a spherical trunk and a smooth, pinkish-grey bark, with slender branches, reaching 5m in height. The leaves of the tree are a bright dark green, are thick, and obovate (egg-shaped); obtuse at the apex with curved edges. The foliage is arranged laterally. The inflorescences are generally axillary, forming generous branches of small flowers, inserted lower than the leaves. The small flowers go from red to white. The fruit are globose, woody and punctuated with orange glands.
This endemic species of Mauritius usually grows in intermediate forest, occasionally in higher altitude forest. The flowers are pollinated by birds and geckos and the fruit and seeds are scattered by birds and bats.
The plant is classified as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List is protected under the forest restoration project and in the Conservation Management Areas (CMAs) of the National Park. Its population is declining due to habitat loss and the invasion of exotic species. It is very rare to find seedlings in the wild, especially because of the damage caused to the lower strata of the flora by wild pigs.