Spanish stopper, Boxleaf stopper
Eugenia foetida

Landscape Uses:

Accent shrub or small tree. Buffer plantings.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

A relatively common element of coastal hammock margins and thickets.
Widely cultivated. Available in Lake Worth at Indian Trails Native Nursery (561-641-9488) and at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).
Small tree or large columnar shrub usually with a dense rounded crown from several slim, erect trunks and small erect branches. Bark light reddish-brown, thin, smooth when young, then divided into small, thick scales forming concentric rings around the trunk of older trees. Leaves abundant and persistant, leathery, 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches long.
Typically 8-15 feet in height. Taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Moderate to slow.
Monroe County Keys north mostly along the coast to Brevard and Manatee counties; West Indies, Mexico and Central America. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website. Little's map exagerates the range of this species in the interior.
Hammocks and hammock edges; coastal thickets.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate to high; grows best with some organic content and may languish in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Moderately low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water, but tolerates short term inunation by salt water from storm surge with minimal damage.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Flower Characteristics:
Flowering Season:
All year; peak in summer.
Black or brown berry.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Birds eat the fruits.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Place in light shade. Germination usually occurs within 1 month.

Roger L. Hammer
George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo, 2013
George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo, Florida, 2013
Shirley Denton