Jacquinia keyensis

Landscape Uses:

Specimen shrub in coastal areas.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Fairly common in the Florida Keys along the ecotone between mangrove swamps and hammocks. Also in coastal thickets from Sanibel Island to Cayo Costa in Lee County. Very rare or absent elsewhere.
Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida. Available in Sanibel at the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (239-472-2329) and in Boynton Beach at Native Choice Nursery (561-756-4370).
Medium to large shrub, rarely a small tree, with a compact, round-topped crown from a stout trunk. Trunks short, usually straight, to 10 inches in diameter, but usually much smaller. Bark thin, smooth, gray. Leaves leathery, about 1-3 inches long.
Typically 4-10 feet in height; to 14 feet in South Florida. Usually about as broad as tall.
Growth Rate:
Very slow.
Monroe County Keys and Miami-Dade County; disjunct in Lee and Charlotte counties; West Indies. In South Florida, native only to the Florida Keys and northern shoreline of Florida Bay, the Long Pine Key region of Everglades National Park, and a few barrier islands in Lee and Charlotte counties. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website. Although mapped by Little for the Monroe County mainland, Joewood has not been vouchered in that area.
Hammocks and coastal thickets.
Moist, rarely inundated brackish 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:
Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.
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:
White to yellowish-white.
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy. Fragrant.
Flowering Season:
All year; peak summer-fall.
Yellow to orange-red berry.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides significant food and cover for wildlife.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed. Remove seed from berry and plant right away; seeds do not store well. Place container in light shade or full sun.
It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.

George D. Gann
in habitat, Key Largo, Florida, 2013
Roger L. Hammer
George D. Gann