Exostema caribaeum is an evergreen shrub or small tree with slender, spreading branches and sometimes without a definite crown of foliage; it usually grows from 3 - 8 metres tall, The short bole can be 10cm in diameter.
The plant is sometimes gathered from the wild for local use as a medicine, source of lighting and timber.
Exostema is a genus of neotropical trees and shrubs. The flowers have a slender corolla tube with recurved corolla lobes. The stamens are inserted near the base of the corolla tube and exserted well beyond its mouth. The anthers are long and basifixed.Shrubs up to 8 m tall, glabrescent. Leaves elliptical to ovate, 4–11 cm long and 1.5–5 cm wide, pointed apex, acute base, papyraceae, secondary veins 4–5 pairs; petioles 6–12 mm long; stipules 1–5 mm long, narrowly triangular to subulate. Flowers solitary, axillary, peduncles 4–10 mm long; calicine blade 0.5–1 mm long, lobed; corolla glabrous, tube 23–25 mm long, lobes 25–40 mm long. Capsules 7–15 mm long and 6–14 mm wide; seeds 3–6 mm long.
Occasional, in dry forests, peaceful zone; 40–800 m; Jul-Nov fl, Sep-Jan fr; Moreno 21713, 22493; central Mexico to Costa Rica and the Antilles.