General Landscape Uses:
Accent or specimen shrub or small tree along the coast. Buffer plantings.
Widely cultivated. Available in Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants
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.
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
Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.
Map of suggested ZIP codes north to Indian River and Manatee counties.
Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations north to Martin and Charlotte counties.
Coastal hammocks and thickets.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
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.
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Full sun to light shade.
Semi-showy, star-shaped. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants.
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.
Can be grown from seed.
Although the flowers can be very attractive, the fruits can be downright ugly.