General Landscape Uses:
Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also spiny buffer plantings.
Grown by enthusiasts.
Medium to large succulent shrub with erect or arching stems covered with short spines.
About 6-12 feet in height. Usually taller than broad, but sometimes spreading and forming large open patches.
Moderate to fast.
Monroe and Miami-Dade counties; disjunct in St. Lucie, Indian River and Brevard counties, where apparently extirpated. Very rare in the middle Florida Keys.
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.
Coastal hammocks and thickets.
Moist, well-drained limestone or sandy soils, with humusy top layer.
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.
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light shade to full sun.
Showy, but open only at night.
Large, red berry. Edible.
Easily grown from seed. It can also be grown from stem cuttings with the base planted about 2" in the ground.
Very spiny throughout. It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida. See also Florida Natural Areas Inventory's Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Florida
page (Chafin 2000).