Native Trees in The Gardens


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Myrsine guianensis

  • ​​Common Name: Myrsine (other common names: Colicwood, Rapanea)

  • Scientific Name: Myrsine guianensis (other accepted scientific names: Myrsine cubana, Rapanea punctata, Rapanea cubana)

  • Family Name: Myrsinaceae

  • Origin: Florida native

  • Height: 15’ – 20’

  • Width: 8’ – 12’

  • Growth: moderate

  • Zone: 10 - 11

  • Light Needs: Partial Sun to Partial Shade

  • Salt Tolerance:  good

  • Soil/PH/Texture: Its native habitat includes the lee side of coastal upland plant communities where soil is sandy with shell fragments. Soil pH is neutral to slightly alkaline and may be poorly drained. It can also be found in bald cypress swamps among other wet-site-tolerant plants. Myrsine prefers to be grown in average soil with some organic matter.

  • Soil Moisture: will adapt to variable soil conditions including poor drainage, average watering but once established it is highly drought tolerant.

  • Drought Tolerance: high

  • Pests/Diseases: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

  • Growing Conditions: easy to grow and low maintenance

  • Characteristics: This evergreen tree or multi-trunked shrub/bush has green leaves that are simple, alternately arranged, oblong, 2” – 4” in length, and clustered at the ends of their branches. The dioecious flowers are sessile, small, and, greenish white in color, and bloom year-round. Its fruit are small – less than .5”, round, black, single-seeded, and are especially attractive to birds.

  • Propagation: by seed usually

  • Wildlife: attracts birds and butterflies

  • Facts: Myrsine means shrub in an ancient Greek, and may trace back to myrrh, whereas Cubana refers to Cuba.

  • Designer Considerations: can be used as hedge or screen plant, on the edges of parking lot, median, as an accent plant, background plant, specimen, or as a border.