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Plant Profile

Erubia (Solanum drymophilum)

The black fruit of this small spiny shrub. Photo Credit:
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • State: PR
  • Nature Serve ID: 152293
  • Lifeform: Subshrub, Tree, Shrub
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 03/14/1986

Solanum drymophilum is a small, spiny shrub historically found in the eastern and central montane forests of Puerto Rico (Little et al. 1974, Vivaldi and Woodbury 1981). Today, its population is restricted to one site that supports less than 150 individuals (USFWS 1992). In August, 1988 Solanum drymophilum was listed as endangered by the USFWS (1988a, 1988b). Solanum drymophilum can grow up to 5.5 meters in height and is characterized by sharp, stiff yellow spines found on leaves (Vivaldi and Woodbury (1981). Hermaphroditic, bell-shaped flowers grow in clusters and produce shiny, black-berry fruits (USFWS 1992). Solanum drymophilum shares its habitat with the endangered tree Banara vanderbiltii (USFWS 1992).

Where is Erubia (Solanum drymophilum) located in the wild?


The remaining site of Solanum drymophilum is volcanic in origin characterized by rough terrain, steep ravines and streams (USFWS 1992).Solanum drymophilum is associated with a common pasture species, Psidium guayava, and also with the rarer candidate species Maytenus ponceana and the endangered tree Banara vanderbiltii (USFWS 1992).


Solanum drymophilum is currently known from one privately owned site in central Puerto Rico that supports less than 150 individuals (USFWS 1992).

States & Provinces:

Erubia can be found in Puerto Rico

Which CPC Partners conserve Erubia (Solanum drymophilum)?

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

Known only from upper Luquillo and Cordillera forest of eastern and central mountains (Luquillo to Cayey and Adjuntas) in Puerto Rico at middle and high altitudes (2500 ft). Found in the public forests of Carite, Luquillo, Toro Negro.

  • 01/01/2010

Threats to Solanum drymophilum include deforestation, agricultural development, grazing and urbanization (USFWS 1992). Most of the remaining habitat is within a pasture developed for private homes (USFWS 1992). Although Solanum drymophilum may have recol

  • 01/01/2010

Less than 150 individuals are known to exist (USFWS 1992).

  • 01/01/2010

Solanum drymophilum is currently being propagated at Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami, Florida (Lippincott 1990).

  • 01/01/2010

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1992) will consider reclassifying Solanum drymophilum when the remaining population site is protected and when at least two new reintroduced populations are self-sustaining.

  • 01/01/2010

Priority management needs set forth by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1992) are habitat protection, population monitoring, regulation enforcement, search for new populations. Research needs include habitat requirements and ecological relationships such as pollination and seed dispersal syndromes. The continuation of plant propagation is necessary as is the identification of suitable reintroduction sites need to bee identified


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Taxon Solanum drymophilum
Authority O.E. Schulz
Family Solanaceae
CPC Number 4028
ITIS 30468
Duration Perennial
Common Names enrubio | erubia
Associated Scientific Names Solanum bahamense | Solanum drymophilum | Solanum bahamense L. var. bahamense
Distribution Solanum drymophilum is currently known from one privately owned site in central Puerto Rico that supports less than 150 individuals (USFWS 1992).
State Rank
State State Rank
Puerto Rico S1
Ecological Relationships


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