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Pineland snowberry
Chiococca parvifolia
Rubiaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also wildflower and butterfly gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

The prostrate form is a relatively common understory element of pine rocklands. The vining form is relatively common in rockland hammocks in the Florida Keys.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Woody groundcover or clambering vinelike shrub. Stems green or purplish. Leaves thick, stiff and shining.
Dimensions:
About 1-2 feet in height; or a clambering shrub with stems to 10 feet or more in length. Spreading and forming mats along the ground or climbing into other vegetation.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Collier counties; West Indies. In the Monroe County Keys, very rare or absent in the middle Keys. Very rare and scattered north of the Miami River in southeastern Florida.
Habitats:
Pinelands and coastal hammocks.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained limestone soils, with or without humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate to low; it prefers soils with organic content, but will still grow reasonably well in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate to high; plants growing in extremely dry soils may die during extended periods of drought.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
White turning to yellow or purplish-white.
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Attractive white to purplish, drupelike berry.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Nectar plant for julia (Dryas iulia) and other butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Grown from seed. Remove pulp from seeds and place in pot with 2" or more of soil. Barely cover seeds with soil. Place in light shade or full sun and keep moist.
Comments:
Two forms are found in South Florida: a small woody groundcover in pine rocklands on the mainland and in the lower Florida Keys and a clambering vinelike shrub in hammocks in the Florida Keys and sparingly on the mainland. Local sources of material are recommended. Taxonomy: some authors place this into synonomy under C. alba.


 


Eric Fleites