Clambering shrub or high climbing woody vine, rarely a small tree. Bark smooth and grayish. Leaves 2-4 inches long, sometimes longer, with orange leaf stems.
Typically 10-20 feet in height or more. Scrambling and often broader than tall.
Monroe County Keys north along the coasts to Volusia and Collier counties; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
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.
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Pink to white.
Showy, the long stamens to about 1 1/2 inches long. Fragrant, opening in the evening.
Spring-summer; peak in summer.
Green capsule, to 6" long, splitting open to expose white seeds imbedded in scarlet pulp.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides food for birds. Larval host plant for Florida white (Appias drusilla) butterflies; occasional larval host for great southern white (Ascia monuste) butterflies.
Can be grown from seed in a community pot in light shade to full sun. Transplant after first true leaves form.
The flowers are more conspicuous than on Jamaica caper (C. cynophallophora).
George D. Gann in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011
Gann, G.D., M.E. Abdo, J.W. Gann, G.D. Gann, Sr., S.W.
Woodmansee, K.A. Bradley, E. Grahl and K.N. Hines. 2005-2016. Natives For Your Neighborhood. http://www.regionalconservation.org.
The Institute for Regional Conservation. Delray Beach, Florida USA.