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West Indian cherry
Prunus myrtifolia
Rosaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Accent or specimen tree in residential and commercial landscapes. Buffer plantings.
Availability:
Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.
Description:
Medium or rarely a large tree with an erect trunk and a slender crown from thin, upright branches. Bark thin, smooth or slightly fissures. Leaves glossy green, with an odor of almonds when crushed, about 2-4 inches long.
Dimensions:
Typically 25-35 feet in height; to 53 feet in South Florida. Taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Fast.
Range:
Miami-Dade County; West Indies and South America. In Miami-Dade County, known only from the Miami Rock Ridge from Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park northeast to the Miami River; also collected once on Elliott Key in what is now Biscayne National Park, where apparently extirpated. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Habitats:
Rockland hammocks.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained 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 flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
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:
Semi-showy.
Flowering Season:
Fall-winter.
Fruit:
Brownish-orange drupe.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Birds and other animals eat the fruits.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from de-pulped seed.
Comments:
It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.


 


Melissa E. Abdo
George D. Gann
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida
Roger L. Hammer
Don & Joyce Gann
Don & Joyce Gann
Keith A. Bradley