Cocoplum Chrysobalanus icaco

Reaching a height of 15 feet and a spread of 15 feet, salt-tolerant Cocoplum grows in full sun or partial shade on a wide range of soils, needing little irrigation once established. Plant 3 to 4 feet apart to establish a hedge farther apart for a less formal effect in a shrub border. Trees are … Read more

American Beautyberry – Callicarpa americana a Florida Keys Favorite

Beautyberry a rapidly-growing North American native forms a rather loosely-arranged, rounded shrub, five to eight feet tall and equally wide (Fig. 1). Branches form long arches bending toward the ground and lend almost a weeping habit to older, established shrubs. The coarse, fuzzy, light green, deciduous leaves are combined with small, lavender-pink blossoms densely clustered … Read more

Coontie in the Florida Keys Yard

Sunshine State gardeners have rediscovered the Florida coontie (Figure 1) as a native plant well adapted to Florida yards. Its increased use in landscapes has encouraged the presence of the rare atala butterfly, which uses coontie as a larval host plant. Landscapers and homeowners can encourage either the plant or the butterfly by following the … Read more

Health Can Bloom in the Florida Keys Home Garden

No one thinks of the Florida Keys as a major farming community anymore, but it was in the 1800s. Thousands of bushels of tomatoes were produced and canned. In 1882 Keys farmers sold $200,000 worth of pineapples alone. They sold Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, beets, carrots, turnips, and cassava, as well as the plentiful … Read more

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