CPC Plant Profile: Guayabota-Pequena
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Plant Profile

Guayabota-Pequena (Ilex obcordata)

Photo Credit: Little, E.L.; Wadsworth, F.; Woodbury, R.
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Aquifoliaceae
  • State: PR
  • Nature Serve ID: 131501
  • Date Inducted in National Collection:

Ilex obcordata aka Ilex sintenisii is a shrub or small tree that grows up to 4.5m in height. It has notched leaf tips. White flowers are found in the axils of the leaves and the fruits are green when mature. It is said to flower throughout the year. (USFWS 1993) This taxon has recently been synonymized with Ilex obcordata (Frank Axelrod, pers. comm.)

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Ilex sintenisii is a (shrub or) small tree endemic to Puerto Rico, occurring in the Luquillo and Naguabo mountains in the upper forest and especially the dwarf or elfin forest. Only 150 trees, in three populations, were known in 1995. The species could be threatened if there were expansion of the communication facilities on the Luquillo peaks.

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

Forest management practices such as construction of forest public facilities, trail maintenance, and establishment and maintenance of plantations Hurricane damage Destruction of the dwarf forest occurring on the mountain tops of Pico, del Este, for th

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

200 individuals in one population

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

The Caribbean National Forest is in the process of developing a partnership or cooperative agreement with the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, Agricultural Extension Service in order to develop protocols for the reproduction and propagation of CNFs sensitive plant species (Luis Rivera, pers. comm.)

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

Its habitat, known at Caribbean National Forest as Dwarf forest, has been protected by Standards and Guidelines of Management Area 3 (Communication Sites) of the Land and Resources Management Plan (1997) which does not allows any further disturbance of the dwarf forest by means of special uses permits for roads or facilities beyond what is already in place under permit. Additional protection to these sites is attained by following the Standard and Guidelines for the surrounding lands that are under Wilderness and Research Natural Areas classification. Habitat change in the Caribean 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

Long term population status Search for new populations/sites Identify potential recovery sites Reproductive biology Ecology Genetic structure/diversity Propagation techniques

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

Propagation for reintroduction.


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Taxon Ilex obcordata
Authority Sw.
Family Aquifoliaceae
CPC Number 6341
ITIS 835360
Common Names Cuero de Sapo | Sintenis' Holly
Associated Scientific Names Ilex sintenisii | Ilex obcordata
Distribution Luquillo Mountains of Eastern Puerto Rico (USFWS 1993)
State Rank
State State Rank
Puerto Rico S2

Elfin or dwarf montane forest, which occurs on summits and high slopes. This species is found at elevations of 3000-3500ft (914-1067m). The soils of these forests are water-saturated and therefore oxygen limited. The sites where this forest type is found are often exposed to high winds. The elfin forests are composed of dense stands of short gnarled trees and shrubs that are often covered with mosses and epiphytes. There are about 478 species of plants found in these forests. Some of them are: Calcyogonium squamulosum, Calyptranthes krugii, Miconia foveolata, Ocotea spathulata, and Tabebuia rigida. (USFWS 1993)

Ecological Relationships


Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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