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West Indian-lilac, Florida clover ash
Tetrazygia bicolor
Melastomataceae


General Landscape Uses:

Accent or specimen shrub or small tree in southern Miami-Dade County.
Availability:
Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.
Description:
Shrub to small tree with an open or dense crown. Trunks to 4 inches in diameter. Bark light gray to brown, rough. Leaves dark green above, silvery beneath, about 3-6 inches long.
Dimensions:
Typically 10-15 feet in height; to 41 feet in South Florida. Usually taller than broad when mature. Maintained as a shrub about as broad as tall in pine rocklands.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Miami-Dade County; West Indies. In Miami-Dade County, native only from Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park northeast along the Miami Rock Ridge to the vicinity of Matheson Hammock and the Richmond Pine Rocklands. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Habitats:
Margins of rockland hammocks and pine rocklands.
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 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.
Flower Color:
White petals with yellow stamens.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy, in terminal clusters.
Flowering Season:
Spring-summer.
Fruit:
Purplish or purplish-black berry.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides food for birds.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from de-pulped seed.
Comments:
It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.


 


Roger L. Hammer
George D. Gann
Shirley Denton