Ayenia limitaris

Common Names:
kidney petal, Texas ayenia
Growth Habit:
Subshrub, Shrub
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Cindy Barrett
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
San Antonio Botanical Garden

The conservation of Ayenia limitaris is fully sponsored.
Cindy Barrett contributed to this Plant Profile.


Ayenia limitaris is a 2-5 foot tall perennial herb/shrub with soft heart-shaped leaves. It belongs to the Sterculiaceae or Cacao family of plants. Cocoa and chocolate are derived from the seeds of the tropical American tree, Theobroma cacao L. (Correll and Johnston 1996).

Like many of the South Texas endangered species, Ayenia limitaris' main threat is habitat destruction. This species once occurred in a subtropical riparian woodland that was found on the delta of the Rio Grande River. Today, less than 5% of this original habitat remains in small, isolated patches along fence rows, highway rights-of-way, canals, and ditch banks. Many activities have led to this, including conversion to agricultural fields, invasion of exotic grasses, herbicides, cattle grazing and stamping and over-collection are also many of this plants problems. (Correll and Johnston 1996; Texas Parks and Wildlife 2002b).

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research