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Casasia clusiifolia

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Accent or specimen shrub or small tree along the coast. Buffer plantings.

Availability: Widely cultivated. Available in Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).

Description: Medium to large shrub or rarely a small tree with a dense rounded crown. Bark pale. Leaves large, shiny, 2-6 inches long.

Dimensions: 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.

Range: 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.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Coastal hammocks and thickets.

Soils: 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: White.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy, star-shaped. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants.

Flowering Season: All year; peak spring-summer.

Fruit: 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.

Comments: Although the flowers can be very attractive, the fruits can be downright ugly.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Other data on Casasia clusiifolia available from:

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