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West Indian cherry
Prunus myrtifolia

Copyright by: Melissa E. Abdo

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.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

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.

Copyright by: Melissa E. Abdo

Copyright by: George D. Gann
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Don & Joyce Gann

Copyright by: Don & Joyce Gann

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Other data on Prunus myrtifolia available from:

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