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Beach-creeper, Golden-creeper, Coughbush
Ernodea littoralis

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Groundcover in dry, open areas, mostly along the coast. Wildflower and rock gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A relatively common element of coastal uplands along both coasts. Probably not present in pine rocklands in southern Miami-Dade County, where the critically imperiled E. cokeri occurs, except on Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park.

Availability: Native plant nurseries. Available in Lake Worth at Indian Trails Native Nursery (561-641-9488), in Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296), in Boynton Beach at Native Choice Nursery (561-756-4370), in Largo at Wilcox Nursery and Landscape (727-595-2073) and in Sanibel at the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (239-472-2329).

Description: Small sprawling shrub, woody at the base. Leaves clustered toward the ends of the stems, bright glossy yellowish-green, about 1-1 1/2 inches long.

Dimensions: About 1-3 feet in height. Rooting from stems touching the ground and becoming much broader than tall.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

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

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Coastal thickets throughout South Florida and pine rocklands on Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park and in the Florida Keys.

Soils: Moist to seasonally wet, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, without humus.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

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

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Pinkish-white or white.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy, about 1/2" long.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Round golden-yellow berry containing a single seed, in dense clusters. All year; peak winter-spring.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides food for birds.

Horticultural Notes: Primarily grown from cuttings under mist.

Comments: An excellent groundcover in open, dry sites along the coast.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Other data on Ernodea littoralis available from:

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