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Myrsine, Colicwood
Myrsine cubana
Myrsinaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Accent shrub. Buffer plantings.
Availability:
Widely cultivated.
Description:
Large shrub or small tree with an erect trunk and an irregular narrow crown. Trunks generally 2-3 inches in diameter. Bark smooth, pale gray. Leaves smooth, bright green, about 2-4 inches long.
Dimensions:
Typically 10-15 feet in height; to 30 feet in South Florida. Taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Monroe County Keys north to Volusia, Lake and Dixie counties; West Indies and Central America. Very rare in the upper and middle Monore County Keys.
Habitats:
Moist forests, forest edges and pinelands.
Soils:
Moist to seasonally wet, well-drained to poorly-drained 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:
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:
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Green.
Flower Characteristics:
Inconspicuous. Essentially dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants; sometimes a few perfect flowers are present. The flowers are borne directly on the twigs from the previous year's growth.
Flowering Season:
All year; peak fall-winter.
Fruit:
Blue to black berry, borne on the stems.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed after coating is removed. Scatter seeds over surface of soil and barely cover. Place container in light shade or full sun.
Comments:
Miccosukee Indians used the dried leaves to mix with tobacco.

Synonyms: Myrsine floridana; some authors now treat this as Myrsine cubana.


 


George D. Gann
Shirley Denton
George D. Gann