Simpson Stopper

Myrcianthes fragrans

(Shrub)

 

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Profile for the Simpson Stopper

Type of Plant: Native evergreen shrub or small tree with a distinctive smooth, reddish-brown, flaking bark (similar to that of Guava). Fruit is a showy, red orange color.  Produces small, bright white, fragrant flowers with long, graceful stamens during the spring and early summer.  Height: 20-30 feet. Width: 15-20 feet. Rounded or vase-shaped form. Slow growing.
Habitat: Occasionally found in coastal stand areas, coastal hammocks, coastal scrubs, shell mounds and rocky flats. Rarely found inland.
Distribution: Central and southern peninsula: Volusia county southward. Also St. Johns county in north Florida. Zones 9b-11.
Landscape Use: Often used, and rightly so, as an ornamental shrub. Also can be pruned/trained into a small, multi-stemmed tree or standard. It is very useful maintained as a hedge or screen or in a mass planting. Spacing 5-15 feet (depending on desired density). Relatively slow growing but will grow faster with increased water and fertilization.
Wildlife Benefit: The rather stiff branches provide cover and nesting value for wildlife. Flowers attract butterflies. Fleshy fruits loved by birds.
Soil: Any, acid to alkaline pH best at 6.5-7.5. Dry to moist, and tolerates occasionally wet feet. Prefers mesic soils. Likes soils containing shell, marl, or lime rock.
Light: Full sun to deep shade.
Water: Does best in moist soils. High drought tolerance once established. Pest-resistant. High salt tolerance.
Misc: Grows larger (20-30 feet tall) and lankier in shady locations and about half that, with denser and more compact foliage, in sunnier locations. Hardy to 20 degrees F.

 

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