Palo de Ramon / Center For Plant Conservation
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Plant Profile

Palo de Ramon (Banara vanderbiltii)

A closeup view of the yellow flower and buds. Photo Credit: Jennifer Possley
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Flacourtiaceae
  • State: PR
  • Nature Serve ID: 154655
  • Lifeform: Shrub, Tree
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 12/01/1991

Banara vanderbiltii is a small evergreen shrub endemic to Puerto Rico. Adult plants have a rough, sandpaper-like textured leaves and bare, small, yellow hermaphroditic flowers that bloom from April through June and ripen into red/purplish fruits (Little et al. 1974). Two birds, the bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) and stripe headed-tanager (Spindalis zena) have been observed feeding on fruits of this species (USFWS 1986a). Deforestation has been the most significant contributor to this species' endangered status (USFWS 1986c and 1986d). Currently there are fewer than twenty plants occurring in the wild, and these are located on private property (USFWS 1986a). Banara vanderbiltii is on of the 253 plants considered nearest to extinction in the United States (Hilts 1988).

Where is Palo de Ramon (Banara vanderbiltii) located in the wild?


Banara vanderbiltii is found in the semi-evergreen coastal forests of Puerto Rico on limestone hills and prefers moister portions of the forest (USFWS 1991).


Banara vanderbiltii is only found in Puerto Rico.

States & Provinces:

Palo de Ramon can be found in Puerto Rico

Which CPC Partners conserve Palo de Ramon (Banara vanderbiltii)?

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

Tina Stanley
  • 05/11/2023
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

According to a March 2023 extract of the Florida Plant Rescue Database, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden holds 1 accessions of Banara vanderbiltii totalling approximately 61 seeds representing 5 maternal lines.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Known from 2 natural sites with only 6 and 10 individuals respectively. Threatened by development and cattle grazing. Restricted to a specialized environment.

  • 01/01/2010

The primary threat to this species is deforestation and selective cutting for agriculture, grazing and production of charcoal (USFWS 1986 a, b, and c). Extensive coffee planting in the central hills iof Puerto Rico has further increased negative pressure

  • 01/01/2010

There are approximately 18 known individuals in the wild (USFWS 1991). A second population was found several years ago - a disjunct population original site was on limestone; new site is higher and on a different substrate a single group of plants in the limestone hills west of Bayamon with 2 mature trees and 4 saplings.

  • 01/01/2010

Banara vanderbiltii is being successfully grown at Fairchild Tropical Garden. Seeds produced from the Garden's Conservation Collection may become a viable seed source for reintroductions in Puerto Rico. Plants have also been distributed to Florida's horticulture community as an ornamental species. These additional individuals may also aid in creating a viable reintroduction population.

  • 01/01/2010

The Recovery for Banara vanderbiltii calls for further protection of remaining individuals by gaining protective status and eliminating military training in sensitive areas (USFWS 1991).

  • 01/01/2010

Population monitoring and general plant reproductive knowledge, such as pollination ecology, seed dispersal mechanisms and recruitment success need to be investigated.


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Taxon Banara vanderbiltii
Authority Urban
Family Flacourtiaceae
CPC Number 536
ITIS 195688
Duration Perennial
Common Names Palo de Ramon | Vanderbilt's palo de ramon
Associated Scientific Names Banara vanderbiltii
Distribution Banara vanderbiltii is only found in Puerto Rico.
State Rank
State State Rank
Puerto Rico S1
Ecological Relationships

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bananaquit Coereba flaveola Suspected Pollinator Floral Link
Tanager Spindalis zena Suspected Pollinator Floral Link

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