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Plant Profile

Higuero de Sierra (Crescentia portoricensis)

This is a closeup of the leaves, which are simple, shiny dark green and leathery. Photo Credit: Jennifer Possley
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Bignoniaceae
  • State: PR
  • Nature Serve ID: 149387
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/04/1991

Crescentia portoricensis is an evergreen, vine-like shrub that grows along stream banks in the Commonwealth Forests of southwestern Puerto Rico. This species can reach up to 6 meters in height and produces hermaphroditic, yellowish-white bell shaped flowers that ripen into dark green fruits. C. portoricensis was listed as endangered in 1987 and will be considered for downlisting when the habitat is protected and four new populations are established.

Where is Higuero de Sierra (Crescentia portoricensis) located in the wild?


Crescentia portoricensis is found along stream banks on serpentine-derived soils in the subtropical moist and wet forest zones in southwestern Puerto Rico.


Currently, Crescentia portoricensis is found in two areas of the Commonwealth Forests of southwestern Puerto Rico.

States & Provinces:

Higuero de Sierra can be found in Puerto Rico

Which CPC Partners conserve Higuero de Sierra (Crescentia portoricensis)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to Puerto Rico where found in the foothills of southwestern Puerto Rico. Known in the Maricao and Sus?a Forests. Occurs rarely in lower Cordillera forest at 800 - 2500 ft (244-762 m) alt.

  • 01/01/2010

Crescentia portoricensis is endangered as a result of intensive deforestation and land management practices that have negatively affected populations through flooding and erosion.

  • 01/01/2010

Seven sites have been identified in the Commonwealth Forests, supporting about 100 individuals.

  • 01/01/2010

The Fairchild Tropical gardens has shown that a high percentage of seeds germinate but seedling recruitment in the field is still largely unknown.

  • 01/01/2010

The protective and research actions outlined by the USFWS include: monitoring populations, Providing protection for existing habitat, research on life history traits and propagation of seedlings to enrich current populations and establish new ones. Other research needs include defining habitat requirements, overall reproductive biology and pollination and seed dispersal mechanisms.


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Taxon Crescentia portoricensis
Authority Britton
Family Bignoniaceae
CPC Number 1103
ITIS 34334
Common Names Higuero de Sierra | Calabash Tree
Associated Scientific Names Crescentia portoricensis
Distribution Currently, Crescentia portoricensis is found in two areas of the Commonwealth Forests of southwestern Puerto Rico.
State Rank
State State Rank
Puerto Rico S1
Ecological Relationships

In one, semi-evergreen/deciduous forest, Crescentia portoricensis can be found with the following plant species, Coccothrynax alta (palma de abanico), Zamia portoricensis (maranguey), Rondeletia inermis, Randia aculeata (tintillo), Linociera holdridgeana (hueso prieto), Neolaugeria resinosa (aquilon), Scleria lithosperma, and Comocladia glabra. In one montane forest, Crescentia portoricensis is associated with Tabebuia heterophylla (roble blanco), T. schumaniana (roble colorado), Homalium racemosum (caracolillo), Coccoloba swartzii (ortegon), Bumelia cubensis, Rondeletia inermis and Micropholis chrysophylloides (leche prieta).

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bats Suspected Pollinator Floral Link

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