Casasia clusiifolia

Landscape Uses:

Accent or specimen shrub or small tree along the coast. Buffer plantings.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Widely cultivated. Available in Boynton Beach at Sustainscape, Inc. (561-245-5305) and Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).
Medium to large shrub or rarely a small tree with a dense rounded crown. Bark pale. Leaves large, shiny, 2-6 inches long.
Typically 5-15 feet in height; to 25 feet in South Florida. Usually about as broad as tall, especially when growing in full sun.
Growth Rate:
Slow to moderate.
Monroe County Keys north to Broward and Lee counties; Bermuda, Bahamas and Cuba. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Coastal hammocks and thickets.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Secondary line; tolerates significant salt wind without injury, but usually is somewhat protected.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy, star-shaped. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants.
Flowering Season:
All year; peak spring-summer.
Berry, green to gold at maturity, turning dark brown or almost black. Edible but not tasty.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for tantalus sphinx (Aellopus tantalus) moths. Nectar plant for mangrove skipper (Phocides pigmalion) and other butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed.
Although the flowers can be very attractive, the fruits can be downright ugly.

Roger L. Hammer
Roger L. Hammer
George D. Gann
Shirley Denton
Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley