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            Psychotria elata is an understory shrub of the Rubiaceae family found throughout Central America from low to mid-elevation. It is most recognized for its pair of bright red lip-shaped bracts surrounding small, white, tubular flowers. This heterostylus plant is hummingbird-pollinated, though it is visited by other insects such as butterflies, and its small blue fruits are dispersed by birds. Little is known about herbivory for the species. The presence of alkaloids in P. elata has led to its common use as a medicinal plant within indigenous populations of Central America.


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© Susan Washko

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