This member of the Eucalyptus family is an attractive, hardy tropical. The variety simpsonii (Eugenia simpsonii) is considered threatened in Florida. It was once known as Eugenia simpsonii. It may be a large shrub or small tree and can reach a height of 20 feet with a 15 foot spread. The tiny, deep green leaves contain aromatic oils with the fragrance of nutmeg and grow densely, when in full sun, on the smooth-barked branches. When this plant is grown in shade the foliage becomes less dense. The trunk nicely displays its attractive, smooth, exfoliating bark. Twinberry has fragrant, white flowers that grow in long panicles which occur periodically throughout the year. These flowers then develop into attractive, red berries that are edible. The flowers attract many species of butterflies, and the fruits are appealing to birds, especially the state bird of Florida, the mockingbird.
Twinberry performs well with little or no irrigation once it becomes established. It is useful in roadway medians, along unmaintained highways or in buffer strips around parking lots. It can be trimmed into a nice multi-trunked small tree for use near a deck or patio to provide shade to a small area. This configuration shows off the bark nicely.
Twinberry can grow in full sun or deep shade and is most useful where the soils contain shell, marl, or lime rock (alkaline soils). This plant will tolerate wet soils but is also drought tolerant. It shears well, has a high salt tolerance.
champion of this Florida native is 51 x 40 feet in Florida.
Simpson's Stopper Photos
- Myrcianthes fragrans (36KB pdf)