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Limber caper, Bayleaf capertree
Cynophalla flexuosa

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Accent flowering shrub or scandent woody vine. Also useful in buffer plantings.

Ecological Restoration Notes: An occasional element of coastal thickets and hammock margins.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida. Available in Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).

Description: Clambering shrub or high climbing woody vine, rarely a small tree. Bark smooth and grayish. Leaves 2-4 inches long, sometimes longer, with orange leaf stems.

Dimensions: Typically 10-20 feet in height or more. Scrambling and often broader than tall.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Monroe County Keys north along the coasts to Volusia and Collier counties; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. 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.

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: High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Pink to white.

Flower Characteristics: Showy, the long stamens to about 1 1/2 inches long. Fragrant, opening in the evening.

Flowering Season: Spring-summer; peak in summer.

Fruit: Green capsule, to 6" long, splitting open to expose white seeds imbedded in scarlet pulp.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides food for birds. Larval host plant for Florida white (Appias drusilla) butterflies; occasional larval host for great southern white (Ascia monuste) butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed in a community pot in light shade to full sun. Transplant after first true leaves form.

Comments: The flowers are more conspicuous than on Jamaica caper (C. cynophallophora).

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011

Other data on Cynophalla flexuosa available from:

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