CPC Plant Profile: Aceitillo
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Plant Profile

Aceitillo (Pleodendron macranthum)

Drawing of Pleodendron macranthum-twig, leaves, flower, and fruit. Photo Credit: Little, E.L.; Wadsworth, F.; Woodbury, R.
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Canellaceae
  • State: PR
  • Nature Serve ID: 154515
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 12/01/2021

Pleodendron macranthum is an aromatic evergreen tree that grows up to 10m tall. The leaves are dark and shiny and the whitish flowers grow on long stalks. Its purplish black fruits are also aromatic. The wood from this tree is nearly white in color. Very few individuals remain and little is known about the reproductive biology of this species.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

In eastern and northern Puerto Rico: in the lower Luquillo Mountains in very wet volcanic and limestone habitats. Only 6 individuals are known, in 5 populations, in the Caribbean National Forest (Luquillo Experimental Forest) and R?o Abajo Commonwealth Forest.

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

Urban and agricultural development Forest management practices (including establishment and maintenance of plantations and selective cutting) Trail maintenance Dispersed recreation Shelter construction Habitat modification via hurricanes and forest m

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

22 individuals in 4 populations

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

Propagation by seed and reintroduction (Luis Rivera, pers. comm.)

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

Habitat change in the Caribbean National Forest often occurs more due to natural disturbances (e.g. hurricanes) than by management activities. The Forest has an Emergency Contingency Plan to deal yearly with the hurricane season. In case of a hurricane condition there are guidelines established to protect resources before, during and after a hurricane attack. The most typical damages to vegetation during these events are landslides, and acute mortality due to uprooting, defoliation or breakage of canopy or branches.

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

Habitat requirements Reproductive biology Ecology Genetic diversity Long term population trend Threat assessment Propagation methods

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

Seed storage if feasible Ex-situ population(s)


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Taxon Pleodendron macranthum
Authority (Baill.) Tiegh.
Family Canellaceae
CPC Number 3525
ITIS 504445
Common Names Chupacallos | Chupagallo | chupa gallo
Associated Scientific Names Pleodendron macranthum | Cinnamodendron macranthum
Distribution Luquillo Mountains of Eastern Puerto Rico (USFWS 1998).
State Rank
State State Rank
Puerto Rico S1

This species is found in two types of montane forest called tabonuco and palo colorado. Tabonuco occurs on foothills and slopes below 600m elevation and is very species rich. It is characterized by tall canopy trees and low light levels at ground level. Palo colorado is an evergreen forest type, described as an upland swamp, found at elevations greater than 600m. These forests are found on somewhat protected intermediate slopes and valleys, though high winds can occur at times. They do not have high plant diversity. Some of the common species in palo colorado forest are Cyrilla racemiflora (common name palo colorado for which the association is named), Calcyogonium squamulosum, and Micropholis garcinifolia. (USFWS 1993)

Ecological Relationships


Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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