Rivina humilis

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Rivina humilis
Rivina humilis (fruit).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Petiveriaceae
Genus: Rivina
Species: R. humilis
Binomial name
Rivina humilis
L.
Synonyms

Rivina laevis L.[1]

Rivina humilis is a species of flowering plant in the family Petiveriaceae. It was formerly placed in the pokeweed family, Phytolaccaceae.[2] It can be found in the southern United States, the Caribbean, Central America, and tropical South America. Common names include pigeonberry,[1] rougeplant,[1] baby peppers,[3] bloodberry,[1] and coralito.[1] The specific epithet means "dwarfish" or "lowly" in Latin, referring to the plant's short stature.[4]

Description[edit]

Pigeonberry is an erect, vine-like[5] herb,[3] reaching a height of 0.4–2 m (1.3–6.6 ft).[5] The leaves of this evergreen perennial[6] are up to 15 cm (5.9 in) wide and 9 cm (3.5 in), with a petiole 1–11 cm (0.39–4.33 in) in length. Flowers are on racemes 4–15 cm (1.6–5.9 in) long with a peduncle 1–5 cm (0.39–1.97 in) in length and pedicels 2–8 mm (0.079–0.315 in) long. Sepals are 1.5–3.5 mm (0.059–0.138 in) in length and white or green to pink or purplish.[5] The fruit is a glossy, bright red berry[4] 2.5–5 mm (0.098–0.197 in) in diameter.[5]

Rivina humilis plant with fruit and flowers.

Habitat[edit]

Rivinia humilis can be found in forests, thickets, shell middens, hammocks, roadsides, and disturbed areas at elevations from sea level to 1,700 m (5,600 ft).[5] It requires less than partial sun and is tolerant of full shade. It is also tolerant of salt spray and saline soils.[6]

Uses[edit]

Pigeonberry is cultivated as an ornamental in warm regions throughout the world[5] and is valued as a shade-tolerant groundcover.[7] It is also grown as a houseplant[8] and in greenhouses.[5]

The juice made from the berries was used as a dye and ink at one time. The berries contain a pigment known as rivianin or rivinianin,[4] which has the IUPAC name 5-O-β-D-Glucopyranoside, 3-sulfate, CAS number 58115-21-2, and molecular formula C24H26N2O16S.[9] It is very similar to betanin, the pigment found in beets.[4] The fruit also contains the betaxanthin humilixanthin.[10]

The juice of the berries have been tested in male rats and are reported to be safe to consume.[11]

Ecology[edit]

R. humilis is a host plant for the caterpillars of Goodson's greenstreak (Cyanophrys goodsoni)[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Rivina humilis L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2004-03-12. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  2. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2016). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–20. doi:10.1111/boj.12385. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  3. ^ a b "Rivina humilis L.". Native Plant Information Network. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  4. ^ a b c d Nellis, David W (1997). Poisonous Plants and Animals of Florida and the Caribbean. Pineapple Press Inc. p. 227. ISBN 978-1-56164-111-6. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Rivina humilis Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 121. 1753". Flora of North America. eFloras.org. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  6. ^ a b "Pigeonberry Rivina humilis". Ornamental for the Texas Gulf Coast. Texas A&M University. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  7. ^ Garrett, Howard (1996). Howard Garrett's Plants for Texas. University of Texas Press. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-292-72788-5. 
  8. ^ "Pigeon Berry Latin Name: Rivina humilis". Plant Encyclopedia. PlantCare.com. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  9. ^ D. C. Ayres, ed. (1994). Dictionary of Natural Products. 7. CRC Press. p. 645. ISBN 978-0-412-46620-5. 
  10. ^ Humilixanthin a new betaxanthin from Rivina humilis. Dieter Strack, Doris Schmitt, Hans Reznik, Wilhelm Boland, Lutz Grotjahn and Victor Wray, Phytochemistry, 1987, Volume 26, Issue 8, Pages 2285–2287, doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)84702-0
  11. ^ Food Chem Toxicol., December 2011, volume 49, issue 12, pages 3154-3157
  12. ^ "Goodson's Greenstreak Cyanophrys goodsoni (Clench, 1946)". Butterflies and Moths of North America. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 

External links[edit]