Beach-creeper, Golden-creeper, Coughbush
Ernodea littoralis
Rubiaceae


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), 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.
Height:
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.
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.


Keith A. Bradley
Roger L. Hammer
Susan Trammell
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton