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Simpson's pricklyapples, Simpson's applecactus
Harrisia simpsonii
Cactaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also spiny buffer plantings.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Medium to large succulent shrub with erect or arching stems covered with short spines.
Dimensions:
About 6-12 feet in height. Usually taller than broad, but sometimes spreading and forming large open patches.
Growth Rate:
Moderate to fast.
Range:
Monroe and Miami-Dade counties; disjunct in St. Lucie, Indian River and Brevard counties, where apparently extirpated. Very rare in the middle Florida Keys.
Habitats:
Coastal hammocks and thickets.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained limestone or sandy 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:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light Requirements:
Light shade to full sun.
Flower Color:
White.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy, but open only at night.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Large, red berry. Edible.
Horticultural Notes:
Easily grown from seed. It can also be grown from stem cuttings with the base planted about 2" in the ground.
Comments:
Very spiny throughout. It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.


 


James Johnson, Everglades National Park, 2014
George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, 1981
George D. Gann
in habitat, Key Largo, Florida, 2013
George D. Gann
in habitat, Key Largo, Florida, 2013
Roger L. Hammer
Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley