Pearlberry, Tearshrub
Vallesia antillana

Landscape Uses:

Accent shrub or small tree in the Florida Keys.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida. Available in Homestead at Plant Creations Inc. (305-248-8147).
Medium shrub or rarely a small tree with light green leaves.
About 5-10 feet in height. About as broad as tall.
Growth Rate:
Slow to very slow.
Monroe and Miami-Dade counties; Bahamas, Greater Antilles and Mexico (Yucatan). Not known from the mainland except for the Flamingo area of Everglades National Park, where it was perhaps extirpated by Hurricane Donna in 1960. Very rare nearly throughout the Florida Keys in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.
Coastal hammocks.
Moist, well-drained 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:
Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light Requirements:
Light shade.
Flower Color:
Flower Characteristics:
Flowering Season:
All year.
White, nearly translucent drupe.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from de-pulped seed.
It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida and as critically imperiled in South Florida by The Institute for Regional Conservation. See also Florida Natural Areas Inventory's Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Florida page (Chafin 2000).

Keith A. Bradley
Roger L. Hammer
Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley