Apocynaceae, Thevetia ovata (?), Codo de fraile – Jalisco, Mexico

I’m pretty sure these are photos of Thevetia ovata, although not positive… please correct me via comment forum if you have doubts. This does appear to have a more wrinkled leaf then photos that come up on an image search. This could be a different species although T. ovata is what I’ve seen listed as being present in this area. My friend / colleague Stan (Plant Creations) suggests its likely a serious mite or thrip or combination infestation, which is looking like the most probable explanation.

Thevetia is an interesting group of plants in the Apocynace family, close relatives of Genera such as Tabernanthe, Carissa, Plumeria and Tabernamontana, among many others. Click links for more info.

I took these photos Thevetia ovata last week in the dry tropical forests along the coast of Jalisco, Mexico. The plant was growing just in from a beach inlet as a large shrub / small tree (up to 8m). Thevetia peruviana is a more common related species, often seen used as an ornamenal plant in the tropics and subtropics. Despite its pervasiveness the plants ethnobotanical (medicinal, magico-religious, nefarious) uses are often overlooked.

Thevetia ovata leaf Thevetia ovata fruit Thevetia ovata flower Thevetia ovata flower

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