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Limber caper, Bayleaf capertree
Cynophalla flexuosa

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Accent flowering shrub or scandent woody vine. Also useful in buffer plantings.

Ecological Restoration Notes: An occasional element of coastal thickets and hammock margins.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: 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.

Dimensions: Typically 10-20 feet in height or more. Scrambling and often broader than tall.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: 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.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Coastal hammocks.

Soils: Moist, well-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 significant injury.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Pink to white.

Flower Characteristics: Showy, the long stamens to about 1 1/2 inches long. Fragrant, opening in the evening.

Flowering Season: Spring-summer; peak in summer.

Fruit: 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.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed in a community pot in light shade to full sun. Transplant after first true leaves form.

References: Miami-Dade County Landscape Manual (2005).

Comments: The flowers are more conspicuous than on Jamaica caper (C. cynophallophora).

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011

Copyright by: Joe Montes de Oca via iNaturalist

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist

Other data on Cynophalla flexuosa available from:

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