Byttneria carthagenensis Jacq.
Common Name: Espino Hueco
Espino hueco is a shrub with hollow angulate stems, sometimes growing erect but more commonly the branches are recurved or scandent and scramble over other plants for support[
]. The branches and lower leaf surfaces are armed with sharp recurved prickles[
The roots are sometimes harvested from the wild for medicinal use.
Northern S. America - Bolivia, north through Central America to Mexico.
Dry to moist forests[
]. Chiefly in moist or wet thickets, most often in second growth, frequently a noxious weed in banana plantations, most common in the tierra caliente but ascending to about 1,200 metres[
This plant is one of the worst weeds in banana plantations[
]. Areas in which it grows soon become impenetrable unless the bushes are cut. Wherever it grows, the shrub is a great pest, since the sharp prickles tear the flesh painfully, so that it is impossible to pass through an infested place without the use of a machete[
Seedlings often grow abundantly in clearings[
The roots are used as a substitute for sarsaparilla (Smilax spp.)[
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