Wild ackee


Wild ackee, candlewood, or maraquil, is native to Central America, the Greater Antilles, northern and western South America. It reaches a height of 60 feet, with a trunk 10 or more inches in diameter. The leaves are up to 10 inches long and have four to eight leaflets, the largest up to 6 inches long. Flowers are minute and are grouped in terminal inflorescences up to 15 inches long. Fruits are velvety capsules about three-quarters of an inch wide, divided in three units that open to expose a black seed adhered to orange tissue. It flowers during winter and spring, and the fruits mature during spring and summer. The generic name honors the Italian naturalist Francis Cupani (1657-1710). The species name refers to its geographic origin.

The photographed tree is southwest of Building A. There is a another specimen west of the Piñero Building, both probably propagated by wild birds.

Cupania americana (Sapindaceae)