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Rhacoma, Maidenberry
Crossopetalum rhacoma

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park,
Monroe County, Florida

General Landscape Uses: Accent shrub.

Ecological Restoration Notes: An uncommon element of hammock edges and pine rocklands.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: Medium shrub or rarely a small tree, with erect or spreading branches. Bark pale, almost white. Leaves leathery, light green, about 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long.

Dimensions: Typically 3-8 feet in height, often broader then tall.

Growth Rate: Moderate to slow.

Range: Monroe County Keys and Miami-Dade County; disjunct in Sarasota County; Bermuda, the West Indies, Mexico and Central America. In Miami-Dade County, native to the Florida Keys in and around Biscayne National Park, Key Biscayne and the Miami Rock Ridge south of the Miami River. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website. Note that Little recorded two locations in Collier County which have not been substantiated, but were certainly possible.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Rockland hammock edges and pine rocklands.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone or sandy soils, with or without humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate to low; it prefers soils with organic content, but will still grow reasonably well in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate to high; plants growing in extremely dry soils may die during extended periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: Green tinged with red.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Showy bright red drupe.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides food for wildlife.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed.

References: Hammer 2004

Comments: It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park,
Monroe County, Florida

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by:

Other data on Crossopetalum rhacoma available from:

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