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West Indian-lilac, Florida clover ash
Tetrazygia bicolor
Melastomataceae
 

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

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. Available in Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).

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. Within that range it is more common in the south and at higher elevations, and it may be killed by freezing temperatures. 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 ZIP codes with habitat recommendations north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Margins of rockland hammocks and pine rocklands.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone soils, or limestone covered by sand, 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.

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

Comments: It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.


Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Shirley Denton


Other data on Tetrazygia bicolor available from:



 
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