Jamaica caper-tree
Quadrella cynophallophora
Capparaceae


Landscape Uses:

An accent or specimen shrub or small tree. Also useful in buffer plantings and informal hedges.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

A common element of coastal hammocks and thickets.
Availability:
Widely cultivated. Available in Fort Myers at All Native Garden Center (239-939-9663), in Lake Worth at Indian Trails Native Nursery (561-641-9488) and at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).
Description:
large shrub or small upright tree with a slender crown composed of short branches. Foliage dense in sun, becoming open in shade. Trunks 2-6 inches in diameter. Bark dark red brown, rough. Leaves smooth and shiny above, rusty beneath, 2-3 inches long.
Height:
Typically 6-12 feet in height, sometimes more. Taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Slow to moderate.
Range:
Monroe County Keys north along the coasts to Brevard, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties; West Indies, Mexico and Central America. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Habitats:
Coastal hammocks.
Soils:
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:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Opens white, turning pink within a few hours.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy, brushlike, 1 1/2" long. Fragrant, mostly so in the evening.
Flowering Season:
Spring-summer; peak in spring.
Fruit:
Brown capsule, 9-12" long, rupturing irregularly with age, exposing the red interior; summer.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides food and cover for wildlife. Larval host plant for Florida white (Appias drusilla) butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Grown from seed, which need to be scarified. Start in shade and move to full sun after true leaves are formed. Germination is within a month.
Comments:
This is an excellent plant for coastal gardens.


Don & Joyce Gann
Roger L. Hammer
Roger L. Hammer
Wes Jurgens
George D. Gann
George D. Gann
Keith A. Bradley