Ehretia anacua
Ehretia anacua is medium-sized tree found in eastern Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and southern Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 in the United States. It is a member of the borage
Borage, , also known as a starflower, is an annual herb originating in Syria, but naturalized throughout the Mediterranean region, as well as Asia Minor, Europe, North Africa, and South America. It grows to a height of , and is bristly or hairy all over the stems and leaves; the leaves are...

 family, Boraginaceae
Boraginaceae, the Borage or Forget-me-not family, include a variety of shrubs, trees, and herbs, totaling about 2,000 species in 146 genera found worldwide.A number of familiar plants belong to this family....

. One of its common names, Anacua, is derived from the Mexican Spanish
Mexican Spanish
Mexican Spanish is a version of the Spanish language, as spoken in Mexico and in various places of Canada and the United States of America, where there are communities of Mexican origin....

 word Anacahuite, as is that of the related Cordia boissieri, the Anacahuita. That word in turn is derived from the Nahuatl
Nahuatl is thought to mean "a good, clear sound" This language name has several spellings, among them náhuatl , Naoatl, Nauatl, Nahuatl, Nawatl. In a back formation from the name of the language, the ethnic group of Nahuatl speakers are called Nahua...

 words āmatl
Amate is a form of paper that has been manufactured in Mexico since the pre Hispanic times. Amate paper was extensively produced and used for both communication, records and ritual during the Aztec Empire; however, after the Spanish conquest, its production was mostly banned and replaced by...

, meaning "paper," and quatitl, meaning "tree," possibly referring to the bark. It is also known as Knockaway, a corruption of Anacua, and Sandpaper Tree.


Anacua reaches a height of 20–45 ft (6.1–13.7 m) and a diameter of 0.3 m (0.984251968503937 ft), often producing suckers
Vegetative reproduction
Vegetative reproduction is a form of asexual reproduction in plants. It is a process by which new individuals arise without production of seeds or spores...

 or multiple trunks. The bark
Bark is the outermost layers of stems and roots of woody plants. Plants with bark include trees, woody vines and shrubs. Bark refers to all the tissues outside of the vascular cambium and is a nontechnical term. It overlays the wood and consists of the inner bark and the outer bark. The inner...

 is reddish-brown to gray with narrow furrows and peeling scales. The dark green leaves
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 are 3–8 cm (1.2–3.1 in) and 2–4 cm (0.78740157480315–1.6 in) wide and elliptical or ovate. Their upper surfaces are remarkably rough, feeling like low-grade sandpaper
Sandpaper, also known as glasspaper, is a heavy paper with abrasive material attached to its surface.Sandpaper is part of the "coated abrasives" family of abrasive products. It is used to remove small amounts of material from surfaces, either to make them smoother , to remove a layer of material...

. Anacua is a partial evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

, replacing some of the leaves in early spring. Abundant white flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s form in panicle
A panicle is a compound raceme, a loose, much-branched indeterminate inflorescence with pedicellate flowers attached along the secondary branches; in other words, a branched cluster of flowers in which the branches are racemes....

s or cymes
An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches. Strictly, it is the part of the shoot of seed plants where flowers are formed and which is accordingly modified...

 5–7.5 cm (2–3 in) in length at the ends of twigs, making trees appear to be covered in snow when in bloom from spring to summer. Flowers are 8 mm (0.31496062992126 in) wide and have 5 corolla lobes. The fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

s are spherical drupe
In botany, a drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries...

s 8 mm in diameter and yellowish-orange. The drupes contain two stones, each with two seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s. In addition to being edible by humans, the drupes are eaten by mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s and bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s such as the Clay-colored Thrush
Clay-colored Thrush
The Clay-colored Thrush is a common Middle American bird of the thrush family . It is the national bird of Costa Rica, where it is well known as the yigüirro. It was formerly known as the Clay-colored Robin....

. The lifespan of an Anacua is at least 50 years.


Anacua is found on dry hillsides as a shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

, but reaches tree size in the moist soils of riparian zone
Riparian zone
A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a river or stream. Riparian is also the proper nomenclature for one of the fifteen terrestrial biomes of the earth. Plant habitats and communities along the river margins and banks are called riparian vegetation, characterized by...

s and floodplain
A floodplain, or flood plain, is a flat or nearly flat land adjacent a stream or river that stretches from the banks of its channel to the base of the enclosing valley walls and experiences flooding during periods of high discharge...

s. It can be found at elevations from sea level to 1000 ft (304.8 m).


The leaves of E. anacua are the sole food source of the Texas Tortoise Beetle (Coptocycla
Coptocycla is a leaf beetle genus in the sub family Cassidini....

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