Drought-Tolerant, Low-Maintenance Plants for South Florida Yards and Landscapes - University of Florida
Drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plantsfor south ‘Florida Yards’ and ‘Florida Landscapes’Jody Haynes1, Adrian Hunsberger2, John McLaughlin3, and Laura Vasquez4 Introduction tolerant plant species suitable—or available—for south ‘Florida Yards’ or ‘Florida Landscapes’.The University of Florida (UF) has developed, Rather, we began this list with the intention ofand is promoting statewide, an educational presenting an assortment of options for a varietyoutreach program called Florida Yards & of conditions and a diversity of yard andNeighborhoods (FYN). This program is landscape types. We were surprised to discoversupported by the Florida Department of just how many plants fit our criteria of beingEnvironmental Protection, the U.S. able to tolerant drought conditions and havingEnvironmental Protection Agency, all five low maintenance requirements. In the end, weFlorida Water Management Districts, various compiled an impressive list of over 350 plantNational Estuary Programs, County Extension species. For each plant listed, we ha ve attemptedoffices, and local governments, agencies, to provide its common name, scientific name,organizations, and individuals. The primary goal maximum size, growth rate, light preference, saltof FYN is to teach various stakeholder groups tolerance, and any additional informativehow they can reduce non-point source pollution characteristics.originating from urban yards and publiclandscapes, while also conserving water and Of course, all of these plants—with thesaving time, energy, and maintenance costs. exception of some of the succulents—will benefit from 3-4” of mulch. In addition, plantsThis plant list was developed in response to grown in shade tend to have a higher tolerance ofrepeated requests from two important drought.stakeholder groups in Miami- Dade County—homeowners and local government personnel. CriteriaEach time an FYN program has been presented,at least one person in the audience has requested This section will describe the criteria by whicha list of low- maintenance, drought-tolerant plants we chose plants for our list. We should first note,suitable for south Florida.) Although UF has however, that even the most drought-tolerantliterally hundreds of Extension publications plants require watering during theiravailable on its website—which is located at establishment period. Although this period varieshttp://edis.ifas.ufl.edu—a list of recommended, among species, some general rules for container-drought-tolerant plants specifically targeting grown plants are as follows:south Florida did not exist. • 1-gallon: 6 mos • Trees: 6-12 monthsOur intention was not to create a comprehensive • 3-gallon: 1 year per inch of trunklist of every possible low- maintenance, drought- diameter
Drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants 2By ‘drought-tolerant’, we mean that the plant increased demand will generate increasedwill survive extended periods without rain or supply. Plants commonly available in southsupplemental irrigation, while remaining healthy Florida are designated with ♦.and retaining an acceptable appearance.Although ‘acceptable’ is, of course, a relative Categoriesterm, the FYN program encourages a moretolerant approach to landscaping. Plant were evaluated according to their function or role in yards or landscapes, and were then‘Low-maintenance’, then, refers to a plant that assigned to the following categories: A.does not require frequent maintenance—such as Perennials; B. Annuals & Bedding Plants; C.pruning or spraying—to look acceptable. Shrubs & Hedges; D. Flowering & Shade Trees;Essentially, a low- maintenance plant has low or E. Fruit Trees; F. Palms, Cycads & Palm- likeno fertilizer requirements and few pest and Plants; G. Ornamental Grasses; H. Turfgrasses;disease problems. I. Groundcovers; J. Vines; K. Epiphytes; L. Herbs & Vegetables. Many of the plants haveAll plants on this list are either widely adaptable multiple uses (i.e., they may be used as a shrubto varying soil types or are compatible with the or small tree, or as a perennial or groundcover),poor sandy or limestone-based soils of south in which case they are listed in multipleFlorida. As such, these plants will usually categories. A definition and brief discussion oftolerate relatively high, alkaline pH conditions. each category follows.The final criterion for this list was that the plantsare not considered to be invasive by the Florida A. Perennials. To be considered a perennial, aExotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC, 2001), or plant must live for three or more years. Therestricted by federal, state, or local law (Burks, term as it is used in botany includes shrubs2000). A few plant species on this list are and trees, as well as groundcovers, vines, andrestricted by Miami-Dade County from being herbaceous flowering plants. However, inplanted within 500 feet of the native habitats that horticulture, perennials are primarily plantsthey are known to invade; a caution statement is that do not produce permanent woody stems.provided for these plants (Miami-Dade County, We have chosen to follow the horticultural1996). definition of the term for this list. 38 perennials are listed.We felt it necessary to include both native andnon-native species to eliminate bias. We B. Annuals & Bedding Plants. An annual is aunderstand that south Florida natives are highly plant that lives for fewer than one year up toadapted for south Florida conditions. However, two years, or is commonly treated as such inlandscape situations rarely imitate natural yards or landscapes. Bedding plants areecosystems. For example, some native plants usually low growing and are suitable forwill not tolerate compacted fill. Therefore, only mass plantings intended to create a dramaticadaptable native species are included. Native display of flowers or foliage. Although mostplants are indicated with ♥. Some of the plants annuals and bedding plants require moistlisted also tolerate wet soil conditions, or even soil, a few are drought tolerant. In southshort periods of flooding, and yet, still have a Florida, most annuals are cool-season plants,high tolerance to drought conditions—these are and most will not tolerate the heat and/orindicated with . wet, humid conditions of summer. 23 annuals/bedding plants are listed.Finally, we should mention that all species onthis list may not be readily available at garden C. Shrubs & Hedges. A shrub typically hascenters or nurseries. We have intentionally several permanent, woody stems that ariseincluded species that are not common in the from ground level. A hedge is simply a rownursery trade in south Florida with the hope that of closely planted shrubs that form a border
Drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants 3 or boundary. Size is also a factor in manner in which the seeds of these plants are determining whether a plant is a shrub or a borne in cones rather than flowers. Often tree. Some species are used equally often as mistakenly referred to as palms, cycads are shrubs or trees, in which case, they are listed actually more closely related to pine trees in both categories. 116 shrubs/hedges are than they are to palm ‘trees’. In fact, three of listed. the four most common cycads in south Florida are commonly referred to as palms:D. Flowering & Shade Trees. A tree is a woody king sago ‘palm’ (Cycas revoluta), queen plant that is usually very large (tall or wide sago ‘palm’ (Cycas rumphii), and cardboard or both). In addition, trees typically have ‘palm’ (Zamia maritima). Of these, only the only one trunk. Flowering trees, then, are cardboard ‘palm’ is considered a low- those that are cultivated primarily for their maintenance plant. This is because sago showy flowers. Conversely, shade trees often ‘palms’ (and the genus Cycas in general) are lack significant flower displays. Most highly susceptible to the aulacaspis scale flowering trees also provide significant insect (Aulacaspis yasumatsui; also known as amounts of shade, and are generally the ‘Thai scale’ or ‘snow scale’) and require considered a subset of shade trees. 59 a routine spray program to maintain a healthy flowering and shade trees are listed. appearance. The cycads on this list are resistant to this serious insect pest. In fact, atE. Fruit Trees. Fruit trees are—quite simply— least three species are designated as suitable trees grown or cultivated for their fruit. Many replacements for king and queen sagos. 20 also produce attractive flowers or significant cycad species are listed. amounts of shade. Even so, fruit trees are highly prized in south Florida, and are Palm- like plants are those that superficially conspicuously categorized separately from resemble palms but belong to unrelated plant other trees. 14 fruit trees are listed. families. In addition to the cycads mentioned above, the following plants are incorrectlyF. Palms, Cycads & Palm-like Plants. Palms referred to as palms: Madagascar ‘palm’ are predominantly tropical and subtropical, (Pachypodium lamerei; also resembles a evergreen trees, shrubs, or woody vines of cactus, but is unrelated to both); ponytail the Family Palmae (also known as Family ‘palm’ (Beaucarnea recurvata; an agave Arecaceae). Palm stems are generally relative); screw ‘palm’ (genus Pandanus; unbranched, bear a single growing point, and also called screw ‘pine’, but related to neither are typically topped by a crown of large, palms nor pines); and traveller’s ‘palm’ pinnate or palmate leaves bearing (Ravenala madagascariensis; a distant conspicuous parallel venation. Palms relative of banana). 65 total species are listed represent an exceptionally diverse group of in this category. plants that grow in equally diverse habitats. Of the more than 2500 species of palms G. Ornamental Grasses. Nearly all ornamental worldwide, at least a quarter of them are grasses grow in tuft- like clumps and bear cultivated in south Florida. In a few cases, numerous tiny, insignificant flowers on tall entire palm genera are considered generally stalks that rise above the blade- like leaves. tolerant of drought conditions, including the Many are quite showy, and all non- invasive following: Brahea, Coccothrinax, Coper- species are welcome additions to non- nicia, Livistona, Phoenix, Sabal, Thrinax, traditional yards or landscapes. 15 and Washingtonia. 44 palm species are listed. ornamental grass species are listed. Cycads are gymnospermous, cone-bearing, evergreen plants of the Division H. Turfgrasses. Turfgrasses are simply grasses Cycadophyta. ‘Gymnosperm’ is a Latin word commonly used in lawns or playing fields. meaning “naked seed” and refers to the Only two species are listed here, due
Drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants 4 primarily to the high water requirement of this potential problem, we encourage people to most other species and varieties. primarily refer to scientific names when purchasing plants.I. Groundcovers. This category includes a diverse group of unrelated plants that References function—quite literally—to cover the ground. Generally planted in dense stands, Austin, D.F. Pine Rockland Plant Guide. Miami- groundcovers can be vines, small shrubs Dade County Department of (subshrubs), annuals, perennials, bedding Environmental Resource Management, plants, or grasses. 63 groundcovers are listed. Miami, FL. Black, R.J. 1997. Native Florida Plants forJ. Vines. Vines are weak-stemmed plants—both Home Landscapes. University of Florida- herbaceous and woody—that derive their IFAS Publication ENH-25, Gainesville. support from climbing, twining, or creeping Black, R.J., and E.F. Gilman. 1997. Your Florida along a surface. Although most people Guide to Bedding Plants: Selection, typically think of vines as climbing, a few Establishment and Maintenance. species also grow along the ground and can University of Florida Press, Gainesville. function as groundcovers. 28 vines are listed. Broschat, T.K., and A.W. Meerow. 1991. Betrock’s Reference Guide to FloridaK. Ephipytes. Epiphytes are plants that grow on Landscape Plants. Betrock Information other plants for support or anchorage, but not Systems, Inc., Hollywood, FL. for water or nutrients. This category includes Burks, K.C. 2000. Non-native Plant Species the most famous of all epiphytes—the Restricted by Federal, State, or Local orchids—as well as ferns, bromeliads, and Law in Florida. Florida Department of cacti. 12 epiphytes are listed. Environme ntal Protection, Bureau of Invasive Plant Management, Tallahassee,L. Herbs & Vegetables. Herbs are plants whose FL. leaves, stems, or roots are used as flavoring FLEPPC. 2001. List of Florida’s Invasive in food or as non-traditional medicines, while Species. Florida Exotic Pest Plant vegetables refer to plants that produce edible Council. Internet: parts (roots, stems, leaves, or fruit) and are http://www.fleppc.org/01list.htm. grown for food. Although not included as Florida Water Management Districts. 2001. standard components of most yards or Water Wise Florida Landscapes: landscapes, some herbs and vegetables have Landscaping to Promote Water ornamental value. 7 herbs and vegetables are Conservation Using the Principles of listed. XeriscapeTM. Gilman, E.F., and R.J. Black. 1999. Your Florida Choosing & Purchasing Plants Guide to Shrubs: Selection, Establishment and Maintenance.FYN teaches that the ability to put the right plant University of Florida Press, Gainesville.in the right place is of foremost importance in Haynes, J.L. 2001. Virtual Cycad Encyclopedia.creating a healthy and successful ‘Florida Yard’ Palm & Cycad Societies of Florida, Inc.or ‘Florida Landscape’. However, this process is Internet: http://www.plantapalm.com/dependent upon each individual’s ability to vce/vce_index.htm.choose and then purchase the ‘right’ plant Haynes, J.L. 2001. Virtual Palm Encyclopedia.species for a given location. But be forewarned Palm & Cycad Societies of Florida, Inc.that, in your pursuit for the ‘right’ plants, you Internet: http://www.plantapalm.com/may encounter common names that are vpe/vpe_index.htm.misleading, or even multiple plant species withthe same or similar common names. To alleviate
Drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants 5Hubbuch, C. 2001. Water shortage continues… Osorio, R. 2001. A Gardener’s Guide to and not a drop to irrigate. Garden Views. Florida’s Native Plants. University of Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami, FL. Florida Press, Gainesville.Maidman, K. 1997. Ten great palms. Garden Riffle, R.L. 1998. The Tropical Look: An News. Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami, Encyclopedia of Dramatic Landscape FL. Plants. Timber Press, Portland, OR.Meerow, A.W. 1991. Native Shrubs for South Scheper. J. 2001. FloridataT M. Internet: Florida. University of Florida-IFAS http://www.floridata.com. Publication EES-59, Gainesville. Wilson, J. 1994. Landscaping with Herbs.Meerow, A.W. 1996. Native Trees for South Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA. Florida. University of Florida-IFAS Publication EES-57, Gainesville. 1 FYN Program Extension AgentMeerow, A.W. 1999. Native Ground Covers for 2 Urban Horticulture Agent II South Florida. University of Florida- 3 Urban Horticulture Program Assistant IFAS Publication EES-60, Gainesville. 4 FYN Program AssistantMeerow A.W., and R.J. Black. 1993. Enviroscaping to Conserve Energy: Ground Covers for South Florida. University of Florida-IFAS Publication EES-39, Gainesville.Miami- Dade County. 1996. Dade County Landscaping Manual. Miami- Dade County, FL.Misitis, M. 1997. Salt Tolerant Plants for Dade County. UF/Miami-Dade County Extension publication, Homestead, FL.
Table 1. Drought-tolerant, low- maintenance plants for south ‘Florida Yards’ and ‘Florida Landscapes’, listed by category in alphabetical order byscientific name. (Note: ♦ indicates plants commonly available in nurseries and/or garden centers in south Florida; ♥ indicates Florida native plants; indicates plants that can tolerate wet soils or occasional flooding.)A. PerennialsCommon name Size Light SaltScientific name (inch) preference tolerance CommentsAglaonema ♦ Partial to full Small, herbaceous perennial with fleshy stems, branching from the base, and slender-Aglaonema commutatum 18 shade Low stalked leaves up to about 12 in long. Flowering stems have narrow, pale green spathe enclosing small white spadix. Other Aglaonema also drought tolerant.Scarlet milkweed ♦ 36-48 Full sun to Low Erect, evergreen, perennial with narrow, elliptical leaves and terminal clusters ofAsclepias curassavica partial shade scarlet and orange flowers—spring to fall. Attracts butterflies. Can tolerate wet soil.Butterfly weed ♦♥ 18-36 Full sun to Low Native perennial with orange, summertime flowers. Essential component of aAsclepias tuberosa partial shade butterfly garden. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.Cast iron plant ♦ 36 Partial to full Moderate Grown for its deep green foliage. Named for its ability to tolerate harsh, adverseAspidistra elatior shade conditions. Spreads to form clumps. Excellent for shady areas.Star begonia, winter begonia ♦ Partial to full Rhizomatous (spreads by rhizomes) begonia with large, hairy, deeply lobed, toothed,Begonia heracleifolia 24-36 shade None bronzy green leaves and fragrant, white to pink flowers on long, reddish stalks. Caution: Begonia cucullata is FLEPPC Category II invasive.White begonia ♦ 24-48 Partial to full None Rhizomatous begonia with huge, round, dark glossy green leaves to 2’ wide andBegonia popenoei shade large white, fragrant flowers held in large panicles well above foliage.Castor bean begonia ♦ 24-36 Partial to full None Rhizomatous begonia with apple green leaves shaped like stars and with rings of redBegonia ricinifolia shade hairs around leaf petioles. Winter blooms are deep pink.Strawflower Annual or short-lived perennial with erect habit. Weak, hollow stems. Thin greenBrachteantha bracteatum 36 Full sun Low leaves bear golden yellow blooms up to 2” in diameter at branch tips—summer to early fall. Good groundcover or small shrub.Spiral ginger Tall spiral ginger with attractive roundish jade green leaves with fuzzy underside,Costus scaber 72 Partial shade Low and long, hard, waxy 8" to 12" red bracts with yellow with small, yellow flowers that peek out as bracts open from bottom up. Long lasting flower; excellent cut flower.Crossandra ♦ 12-36 Partial to full Low Simple leaves arranged in opposite pairs and bearing erect spikes of showy yellow toCrossandra infundibuliformis shade red flowers, with petals opened flat into a hand-like shape.African iris Drought tolerant perennial, though extra water needed when in bloom. Easy to grow.Dietes iridioides 24-36 Full sun Low Attractive white flowers with blue and brown shading appear in spring. Forms spreading clumps. Also available with yellow flowers.Twinflower ♥ 6-18 Full sun Low Native perennial. Likes pinelands. Grows best in dry sand. Plant close together forDyschoriste oblongifolia best cover.Indian blanket ♦♥ Colorful native annual or perennial. As easily grown as it is beautiful. ConsiderableGaillardia pulchella 12-24 Full sun High variation in flower color; typical variety bears red flowers with yellow-tipped petals. Plant in open site with good drainage. Good for beach-front plantings.
Whirling butterflies Herbaceous perennial that grows in loose, bushy clump. Stems slender, wiry, andGaura lindheimeri Full sun to covered with tiny hairs. Leaves spoon-shaped with toothed margins. Flowers above 24-48 Low partial shade foliage on long spikes; open white at dawn, fading to rose-pink by day’s end. Requires well-drained soil.Moss verbena Freely branching, sprawling perennial with 3-lobed, finely dissected, aromatic leaves Full sun toGlandularia puchella 12 Unknown and clusters of pink, lilac, purple or white flowers. Requires well-drained soil. partial shade Attracts butterflies. Good bedding plant.Tampa verbena ♦♥ 18-24 Full sun Low Native, sprawling, short-lived perennial. Sometimes treated as annual. FlowersGlandularia tampensis purplish-pink. Also known as Verbena tampensis.Rain lilies ♥ 24-48 Full sun Moderate Flowers yellow, pink, red or white—produced spring/summer after rain. GoesHabranthus spp dormant in cool season, requiring very little water. Flowers best when crowded.Beach sunflower ♥ 36-48 Full sun High Erect or prostrate, spreading plant with sand paper-like leaves and 2.5-3” yellowHelianthus debilis “sun” flowers. Suitable for beach-front plantings. Good for attracting butterflies.Daylily ♦ Full sun or Clump-forming perennial with grass-like leaves and lily-like flowers from late springHemerocallis spp. 12-24 partial shade Moderate to fall, depending on variety. Available in yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, and near-white. Only certain varieties succeed in south Florida (Evergreen, Semis).Amaryllis ♦ 24 Full sun to Moderate Spectacular trumpet-shaped, tropical lilies. Many species and varieties. ModeratelyHippeastrum spp. partial shade drought tolerant.Beach elder Scraggly, course, shrubby perennial. Good for beach-front plantings. 24-36 Full sun HighIva imbricataShrimp plant ♦ Full sun to Perennial or shrub with stems topped with 6” spikes of red, rusty brown, yellow, orJusticia brandegeana 3-5 full shade None green brachts containing small, white, shrimp-like flowers. Unique, adaptable, easily grown plant. Also known as Beloperone guttata.Kalanchoe ♦ Small, shrubby African species. Multiple, upstretched branches covered with roundKalanchoe blossfeldiana 12 Partial shade Moderate to rectangular, deep green leaves with red margins and notched tips. Thick racemes of small, deep red, cylindrical flowers appear from winter to early summer; may also be pink, yellow, or orange. Can be weedy.Dwarf lantana ♥ 6-12 Full sun to Moderate Native low-growing perennial or groundcover, spreading to form a mat. Yellow toLantana ovatifolia var. reclinata partial shade orange flowers. Caution: L. camara, is a FLEPPC Category I invasive.Statice Bushy, upright perennial. Dense rosettes of oblong, deeply waved, dark green leavesLimonium sinuatum and masses of tiny, papery flowers on winged stems—summer/early fall. Fairly slow 18 Full sun Low growing. Available in golden, lemon-yellow, white, cream, salmon-pink, purple or blue spikelets.Sweet basil ♦ Mounding, perennial herb with densely branching, light green foliage and typicalOcimum basilicum 12 Full sun None peppery-clove basil scent. Used as border plant. ‘Spicy Globe’ cultivar is best known ornamental basil. Continues to grow in summer if blossoms cut before setting seed.Pennyroyal ♥ Low-growing perennial. Not picky about soil, but likes it dry. Small, shrimp-likePiloblephis rigida 6-24 Full sun Low flowers emerge from green, scale -like brachts. Attractive to butterflies. Also known as Pycnothymus rigidus and Satureja rigida.
Plumbago ♦ 3-10’ Full sun Low Attractive light blue flowers in terminal spikes. Drought tolerant once wellPlumbago auriculata established. Prone to root and stem rots. Freely draining soil and good air circulation.Florida mountainmint ♥ 48 Full sun to None Erect, loosely-branched, shrublike perennial. Leaves smell like spearmint orPycnanthemum floridanum partial shade camphor. Tiny, lavender flowers in dense terminal clusters. Attracts butterflies.Firecracker plant ♦ 24-48 Full sun High Grown for weeping habit, masses of small, red tubular flowers, and scale -like leaves.Russelia equisetiformis Often used in planters. Requires freely draining soil. Susceptible to nematodes.Stonecrop Full sun to Hardy plant, well adapted for rockeries, with showy fall flowers. Many cultivars 24 ModerateSedum spectabile partial shade (white, pink or red); at least one with variegated leaves.Blue porterweed ♦♥ Full sun to Native, small, shrubby perennial with somewhat weedy habit. Flowers highlyStachytarpheta jamaicensis 12-36 partial shade Moderate attractive to butterflies—a ‘must’ for any butterfly garden. Name derived from traditional foamy, porter-like beverage brewed from the plant.Pink porterweed ♦ 12-36 Full sun to Moderate Small, shrubby perennial with somewhat weedy habit. Flowers highly attractive toStachytarpheta speciosa partial shade butterflies.Mexican sunflower ♦ 60-72 Full sun Low Warm-season annual or perennial. Leaves course, 3-lobed, and covered in soft,Tithonia rotundifolia downy fuzz. Flowers orange to red-orange.Society garlic ♦ 24-36 Full sun to None Clump-forming, herbaceous perennial with narrow, grayish leaves and large clustersTulbaghia violacea partial shade of lavender flowers. Related to garlic.Purpletop verbena ♦ Full sun to Erect, clump-forming perennial with stiff, widely branched stems. Small, purpleVerbena bonariensis 36-72 light shade Low flowers in clusters held high above foliage. Best when densely planted. Attracts butterflies.Verbena ♦ Erect, clump-forming perennial or annual with stiff, widely branching stems.Verbena x hybrida 36-72 Full sun Low Flowers purple and borne in rounded clusters. Treat as annual. Powdery mildew and whiteflies may be occasional problems. Good bedding plant.Rain lily ♦ Full sun to Charming, clump-forming, flowering bulbs. Most species have open flowers likeZephyranthes spp. 6-15 partial shade Moderate small Asiatic lilies and are deciduous. Can be yellow or various shades of warm pink. All bear one flower to a stem, and most close their petals at night.B. Annuals and Bedding PlantsCommon name Light SaltScientific name Size preference tolerance CommentsScarlet milkweed ♦ 3-4’ Full sun to Low See description in “Perennials” above.Asclepias curassavica partial shadeOrach, French spinach Usually grown for its tender, spinach-like leaves. Leaves can be green, yellowish- 2-6’ Full sun UnknownAtriplex hortensis green, red or purple. Sometimes grown as bedding plant.Strawflower See description in “Perennials” above. 3’ Full sun LowBrachteantha bracteatumCalliopsis, tickseed ♦♥ 2-3’ Full sun Moderate Somewhat hairy leaves and stems form a loose mound. Bright, golden-yellow daisyCoreopsis tinctoria blooms—June to September. Relative of the sunflower.
Cosmos ♦ Feathery-leafed annual from Mexico and far southern USA. Showy, daisy-likeCosmos bipinnatus 5-6’ Full sun Low flowerheads in summer and fall, in shades of pink, red, purple or white. May require staking. May not survive rainy season.Dwarf crown-of-thorns ♦ 1-3 Full sun High Small Thai dwarf varieties used as bedding plants and groundcovers. See fullEuphorbia millii description in “Shrubs & Hedges” below.Indian blanket ♦♥ 1-2’ Full sun High See description in “Perennials” above.Gaillardia pulchellaGazania ♦ 6-24” Full sun Moderate Mat-forming plant with crowded rosettes of mostly unlobed leaves that are greenGazania rigens above and whitish beneath. Orange flowerheads with a black eye spot at petal bases.Moss verbena ♦ 12” Full sun to Low See description in “Perennials” above.Glandularia puchella partial shadeTampa verbena ♦♥ 18-24” Full sun Low See description in “Perennials” above.Glandularia tampensisGlobe amaranth ♦ 1-2’ Full sun Low Small, branching annual with hairy leaves and bright purple, pink, or white, clover-Gomphrena globosa like flowers. Benefits from mulching.Sunflower ♦ 3-10’ Full sun Low Fast-growing, upright annual. Large, daisy-like, 12” wide yellow flowerheads withHelianthus annuus brown centers borne in summer. Coarse, leggy plants with heavily veined leaves.Annual lion’s ear Course-textured, rather gangly, erect, loosely branching summer annual. Smooth Full sun toLeonotis nepetifolia 8’ Low leaves with toothed margins. Bright red, tubular, downward curving flowers encircle light shade stem at intervals. Self-seeds easily, but not considered invasive. Attracts butterflies.Butter daisy ♦ 6-24” Full sun Low Small, summer annual with small, yellow flowers and bright green foliage. ProlificMelampodium divaricatum self-seeder. Great bedding and border plant. Also known as M. paludosum.Moss rose, rose moss ♦ Small, annual, low-growing succulent with small, lance-shaped, fleshy, bright greenPortulaca grandiflora 4-8” Full sun High leaves on reddish stems. Yellow, pink, red, or orange flowers in summer; close at night and on cloudy days. Suitable as groundcover, in rockery, or as border.Black-eyed Susan ♦♥ Full sun to Typical daisy-like perennial or annual (depending on variety). Large, yellow-orangeRudbeckia hirta 3’ light shade Low to reddish-orange flowers with darker centers. Attracts butterflies. Does not tolerate prolonged, wet, humid weather.Ornamental sages ♦ Semi-woody, mostly herbaceous shrubby annuals with fuzzy leaves and spikes ofSalvia spp. 1-5’ Full sun Low blue, red, pink, or white flowers. Wilt and lose leaves during drought, but recover when rain returns. Attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Will not tolerate prolonged wet, humid weather.Dusty miller ♦ Full sun to Mound-forming, evergreen, shrubby. Daisy-like flowers range from pink, red, purpleSenecio cineraria 8-12” partial shade Low and crimson through to white, as well as traditional blue. Very tolerant of heat, salt air and poor soil, but does poorly in high humidity or excessive rain.Dahlberg daisy Bushy, highly-branched annual with small, yellow, daisy flowers. Foliage hasThymnophylla tenuiloba lemony scent. Good border plant. Also known as Dyssodia tenuiloba. Does not 6-12” Full sun Low tolerate prolonged, wet, humid weather.
Mexican sunflower ♦ 5-6’ Full sun Low See description in “Perennials” above.Tithonia rotundifoliaVerbena ♦ 3-6’ Full sun Low See description in “Perennials” above.Verbena x hybridaZinnia ♦ Course, upright, bushy annual with lance-shaped leaves and daisy-like flowers—Zinnia elegans 30” Full sun Low available in a rainbow of colors. Requires well-drained soil and good air circulation. Powdery mildew occasional problem when humid; newer varieties resistant. Leaf spot during rainy season possible problem. Also known as Zinnia violacea.Mexican zinnia ♦ Upright, bushy annual. Small, narrow leaves. Daisy-like flowers in white, orange,Zinnia haageana 1-2’ Full sun Low yellow, red, mahogany, or bicolor (gold, maroon, purple, brown, cream, and pink). Good annual groundcover.C. Shrubs & HedgesCommon name Size Light SaltScientific name (feet) preference tolerance CommentsChenille plant ♦ Full sun to Medium to large shrub with large, oval, evergreen leaves. Separate male and femaleAcalypha hispida 6-15 partial shade Moderate plants. Females have long, velvety clusters of purple, bright red, or crimson flowers resembling fluffy cat’s tail. Can wilt in full sun during drought.Copperleaf ♦ 8-15 Full sun to Moderate Purple/red, green and pink foliage. Excellent for hedge or border, but can be over-Acalypha wilkesiana partial shade powering.Desert rose ♦ Very showy flowers year-round, particularly during hot, dry weather. Must haveAdenium obesum 3-10 Full sun Moderate perfect drainage since this plant is very prone to root and stem rots. Will loose leaves during cool weather. Excellent for rock gardens. Scales occasional pest.Century plant ♦ Dramatic foliage and form. Evergreen, silver/gray to blue-green foliage. Showy,Agave americana green-brown fruit. Armed with spines. Gritty, free-draining soil required. Blooms 6-8 Full sun High anywhere from 12-20 years of age, then dies. Excellent for rock gardens. Many other agaves available; some are variegated; all are drought tolerant. Caution: Sisal hemp, A. sisalana is a FLEPPC Category II invasive.Bush allamanda Full sun to Colorful, bright yellow, trumpet flowers. Glossy leaves in whorls of 3-6 on smooth 3-5 ModerateAllamanda neriifolia partial shade stems, which bleed milky sap if cut. Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.Purple allamanda ♦ 10 Full sun None Evergreen, vining shrub with purple, tubular flowers. Attractive to butterflies andAllamanda violacea hummingbirds.Shell ginger ♦ Full sun to Tall stems topped with drooping inflorescences bearing white, pink, red, and yellow,Alpinia zerumbet 6-12 partial shade Moderate shell-shaped flowers. Forms dense clumps. Green and variegated forms. Best growth in moist soil, but can tolerate drought. Benefits from mulch.Bird’s nest anthurium ♦ Partial to full Large, herbaceous shrub or epiphyte consisting of majestic cluster of long, erect,Anthurium salviniae 60 shade None tropical-looking leaves with wavy margins. Flowers relatively insignificant. Other bird’s nest anthuriums also drought tolerant.
Marlberry ♥ Native plant with attractive foliage and berries. Can be used as small specimen treeArdisia escallonioides 5-20 Partial shade High or barrier shrub. Attracts birds. Does poorly in full sun. Caution: The related shoebutton ardisia, A. elliptica, and coral ardisia, A. crenulata , are FLEPPC Category I invasive plants.Silver sea oxeye Yellow, daisy-like flowers. Widely used on banks and slopes. Excellent for beach- 2-4 Full sun HighBorrichia arborescens front plantings in sand. Elsewhere, use freely draining soil to prevent root rot.Bougainvillea ♦ Very showy, thorny vine-like shrub with best bloom during dry season. NumerousBougainvillea spp. 5-30 Full sun None cultivars available in a striking array of colors, magenta being the most common. Some with variegated foliage. Best effect as a vine but can be trained as a shrub. Caterpillars occasional pest. Requires freely draining soil. Do not over-fertilize.Yesterday-today-tomorrow ♦ Full sun to Aptly named shrub with pansy-like flowers that open purple on the first day, thenBrunfelsia grandiflora 3-8 partial shade Moderate turn pale lavender and the second day, and finally white on the third day. Some leaf drop may occur during persistent drought.Butterfly bush ♦ Full sun to Fast-growing shrub with attractive pink, purple, or white flowers and gray-greenBuddleia officinalis 6-12 partial shade Moderate leaves. Highly attractive to butterflies—hence the name. Nematodes occasional problem in sandy soils. Other tropical Buddleia also drought tolerant.Locust-berry ♥ 3-30 Full sun to Moderate Native shrub to small tree with spreading canopy. Attractive flowers are white/pinkByrsonima lucida partial shade to yellow. Orange to yellow berries attract wildlife. Can be used as a hedge.Dwarf poinciana ♦ 5-20 Full sun Moderate Large shrub to small tree. Showy orange/yellow flowers during warmer months.Caesalpinia pulcherrima Needs good drainage. Leaves and seeds poisonous.Beautyberry ♦♥ 6-8 Full sun to Moderate Native shrub. Flowers insignificant, though long-lasting purple berries are quiteCallicarpa americana partial shade attractive, and provide a good food source for birds.Giant milkweed Large, thick, grayish-green leaves and purple to white, crown-like flowers. Tolerates 6 Full sun ModerateCalotropis gigantea poor soil, but requires excellent drainage. Host plant for monarch butterfly larvae.Spicewood ♥ Small, shrubby, native tree with burgundy-tinged new growth and insignificant whiteCalyptranthes pallens 5-25 Partial Shade Moderate flowers. Can be sheared and grown as a hedge. Good drought tolerance, but prefers moist soil.Jamaica caper ♦♥ 18 Full sun to High Native, slow-growing, undemanding plant with attractive, white, fragrant, spider lily-Capparis cynophallophora partial shade like flowers. With time, can be shaped into attractive hedge.Caper bush Elegant shrub often grown for its green capers—which are flower buds, pickled andCapparis spinosa 2-5 Full sun None salted. When allowed to flower, produces large, long-stemmed, pink or white flowers with long stamens. Leaves nearly round. Canopy open.Natal plum ♦♥ Full sun to Native large shrub to small tree with attractive, thick, glossy foliage, fragrant ,Carissa macrocarpa 3-20 light shade High jasmine-like flowers, and edible fruit. The spiny leaves and stems make this a good barrier plant once established. Web blight a problem if excessively wet.Candle bush Large, pinnate leaves. Terminal, 6” yellow flower spikes appear in late summer and 8 Full sun LowCassia alata fall.Cassia ♦ 5-15 Full sun Low to Spectacular flowering shrubs with yellow flowers. Several species available.Cassia spp. Moderate
Cat palm ♦ 3-8 Full sun to Low Mounding palm with elegant, dark green, glossy, feathery le aves. Can be used as aChamaedorea cataractarum partial shade shrub or a hedge.Bamboo palm ♦ 6-10 Partial to full None Heavily clumping palm with tall, slender stems resembling bamboo canes. Can beChamaedorea erumpens shade used as a shrub or a hedge. Also known as C. seifrizii.Cocoplum ♦♥ Full sun to Native shrub with insignificant flowers, but new foliage quite attractive. Often usedChrysobalanus icaco 3-15 partial shade High as hedge, but will thin if planted in too much shade. Available in spreading and erect forms.Pineland snowberry ♥ 2-3 Full sun Low Native vining shrub with glossy green, elliptical to lanceolate leaves and tiny whiteChiococca pinetorum flowers.Fiddlewood ♥ Full sun to Native large, densely leafy shrub to small tree with glossy, ellipitical leaves andCitharexylem fruticosum 12-30 partial shade High small, white, fragrant flowers followed by round, orange-brown berries on female plants. Hard, heavy, strong wood. Attractive to birds and other wildlife.Pitch apple Thick, dark green leaves and attractive pink and white flowers make this a good all- 30 Full sun HighClusia rosea around choice for beach-front properties. Vigorous root system.Pigeon plum ♦♥ 5-30 Full sun to High Native evergreen large shrub to small tree with dense, narrowly rounded crown andCoccoloba diversifolia partial shade attractive, peeling bark. Small, dark purple berries on female trees attractive to birds.Sea grape ♦♥ Native large shrub to large tree with large, thick, saucer-like leaves bearing attractiveCoccoloba uvifera 5-50 Full sun High venation. Also has edible fruit. On occasion, can be susceptible to a number of pests. Leaves can be messy. Good for beach-front properties.Croton ♦ 5-10 Full sun Moderate Grown for the colorful, variegated foliage in greens, yellows, reds and pinks. ScalesCodiaeum variegatum can be a problem. Can be leggy, especially if grown in shade.Coffee colubrina ♥ Full sun to Native, large, course-leaved shrub or small tree with open crown of large, tri-lobedColubrina arborescens 20 light shade High leaves with inconspicuous green flowers and 3-seeded capsules. Attractive to butterflies and many other beneficial insects.Buttonwood ♦♥ Native shrub or tree. Both green and silver leaved forms available; the latter is moreConocarpus eretus 5-50 Full sun to High attractive. Insignificant flowers followed by small, button-like seed pods. Scales can partial shade be a problem and foliage can be attacked by chewing insects. Can be used as a hedge but bottom is prone to thin out.Ti plant ♦ 3-10 Full sun None Palm-like, slender plant with unique, long, narrow leaves in red, pink, white, orCordyline terminalis purple. Also known as ‘red sister’.Spiral ginger See description in “Perennials” above. 72 Partial shade LowCostus scaberChristmas berry, ground holly ♥ 1 Full sun to Low Native, prostrate, evergreen shrub with small, holly-like, spiny leaves and attractiveCrossopetalum ilicifolium partial shade red berries.Desert spoon Linear, grey-green leaves with toothed edges. Spectacular inflorescence bearingDasylirion wheeleri 3-30 Full sun High many creamy-white flowers may reach 30’, after which the plant dies. Takes extreme drought, but must have excellent drainage and air circulation.Varnish leaf Grown for attractive, stiff, shiny green leaves. Showy, yellowish 3-winged capsules Full sun toDodanaea viscosa 18 High produced in terminal clusters; brown, pink or purple at maturity. Dense and fast partial shade growing. Used as free-standing specimen or hedge. Excellent for beach-front.
Dracaena ♦ 15 Partial to full None Narrow, sword-like leaves with red margins. ‘Tricolor’ cultivar has a cream stripeDracaena marginata shade and red edge. Commonly grown as a house plant.Golden dewdrop ♦ 5-18 Full sun to Moderate Ssprawling and sometimes vine-like, evergreen shrub or small tree. Beautiful purpleDuranta repens partial shade flowers and yellow, grape-like, poisonous fruit. Can self-seed and become weedy.Lingaro Shrubby, evergreen vine with attractive light green foliage, the underside a reddishElaeagnus philippensis 3-15 Full sun High brown. Small, fragrant, white flowers followed by edible fruit. Grows well on poor/calcareous soils. Caution: E. pungens, is FLEPPC Category II invasive.Beach creeper, golden creeper Intolerant of over watering, but excellent as ground cover for beach front. Flowers 1-3 Full sun HighErnodea littoralis insignificant.Coral bean tree ♦♥ Native perennial shrub to small tree. Deciduous, 3-lobed compound leaves. ShowyErythrina herbacea 3-15 Full sun Low scarlet blossoms on tall stalks in spring, followed by large beans that split to reveal bright red seeds. May grow into small tree in south Florida. Extremely poisonous.White stopper ♦♥ Full sun to Native large shrub or small tree with pale, whitish bark and aromatic foliage that canEugenia axillaries 5-20 dense shade High be overpowering. Small, white flowers in midsummer followed by small, purplish berries. Attractive to birds.Redberry stopper ♥ 6-18 Full sun to High Slow-growing native plant with attractive glossy leaves and red berries. Used asEugenia confusa partial shade specimen plant or hedge. Upright growth suitable for restricted site.Spanish stopper ♦♥ Full sun to Native large shrub or small tree. Densely clothed with small, rounded leaves.Eugenia foetida 18-36 shade High Smallest flowers and fruits of all stoppers, but still attractive to wildlife. Excellent foundation or specimen plant.Red stopper ♥ Full sun to Native large shrub or small tree with reddish brown bark and elegant growth habit.Eugenia rhombea 9 shade High Branches produced in flat sprays perpendicular to main trunk. Slow-growing and does not flower or fruit as a young plant.Scarlet plume Full sun to Evergreen, arching shrub. Very showy red flowers all year. Needs excellent 5 HighEuphorbia fulgens partial shade drainage. Ideal for a rock garden.Crown-of-thorns ♦ Slow-growing, thorny, semi-succulent shrub with bright green, obovate leaves andEuphorbia millii 1-3 Full sun High small to medium yellow, orange, or red flowers. Excellent in rock gardens. Often used as low hedge in coastal areas. Small Thai dwarf varieties used as bedding plants and groundcovers.Florida privet ♦♥ 10 Full sun High Native shrub with insignificant flowers. Wildlife attracted to black fruit. VeryForestiera segregata tolerant of alkaline soils. Can be used as hedge plant in place of ligustrum.Green aloe ♦ Large rosette of thin narrow leaves up to 8 long. Requires freely draining soil.Furcraea foetida 3-8 Full sun High Inflorescence borne on 15-30" stem; flowers pungent. Rosette dies after flowering. New plants arise from bulbils. Variegated form available.Thryallis ♦ 3-5 Full sun to Low Versatile, evergreen, tropical shrub. Non-stop yellow flowers bloom year-round.Galphimia glauca partial shade Excellent for low hedges. Wood brittle. Requires sheltered position.Star flower Adaptable evergreen shrub with deep green, oval, toothed, leathery leaves. BearsGrewia occidentalis star-shaped, mauve-pink flowers about 1.5” across during spring and summer, 10 Full sun Moderate followed by brownish, 4-lobed berries. Excellent plant for espaliers. Scale insects sometimes a problem.
Lignum vitae ♦♥ Attractive, native, slow-growing large shrub to small tree, with blue flowers yearGuaiacum sanctum 6-25 Full sun High round—but best in spring. Flowers followed by yellow seed pods which pop open to reveal shiny, bright red seeds. Extremely dense, prized wood.Firebush ♦♥ Shady to Produces attractive orange/red flowers at any time. Indifferent to soil, providingHamelia patens 5-15 dappled sun Low drainage is good. In shade, less shrubby and more tree-like. Can be used as hedge, but pruning interferes with flowering. Highly attractive to butterflies.Heliconia ♦ Full sun to Smaller heliconia with tight, arrowhead-shaped inflorescence bearing dense butHeliconia episcopalis 3-7 partial shade Moderate colorful bracts which begin red then fade to orange then yellow toward the tips. Year-round bloomer.Heliconia ♦ Full sun to Tall heliconia with long-stalked, yellow-green, banana-like leaves with a red marginHeliconia latispatha 6-15 partial shade Moderate and erect inflorescence with widely spaced, triangular-shaped bracts that are yellow or orange at base, changing to scarlet at tips.Lobster claw heliconia ♦ 3-20 Full sun to Moderate Tall heliconia with long-stalked, green to bluish-green, 5’-long, banana-like leavesHeliconia rostrata partial shade and pendant inflorescence with zig-zagging bracts of scarlet and yellow.Chinese hat plant Unique flowers are main interest of this scrambling shrub/vine: each is a narrow,Holmskioldia sanguinea orange-scarlet tube backed by a broad, circular calyx, appearing in dense terminal Full sun to 3-6 Moderate clusters through summer and fall. Leaves oval and slightly serrated. Rampant growth partial shade can be contained by pruning after flowering. Old canes can be removed. Loses leaves during drought.Beach elder See description in “Perennials” above. 2-3 Full sun HighIva imbricataJoewood ♥ Full sun to Very slow-growing, native shrub with attractive foliage and year-round, showy,Jacquinia keyensis 10 partial shade High fragrant blooms. Good resistance to wind and salt spray. Some shade from hottest sun beneficial.Primrose jasmine Rambling, open, evergreen, shrub with long, arching stems that will climb if given Full sun toJasmimum mesnyi 5-10 Low support. Without support, grows as fountain-like mound. Fragrant, yellow, trumpet- partial shade shaped flowers. Caution: J. dichotomum and J. fluminense are FLEPPC Category I.Downy jasmine Evergreen, branching vine that can be trained as a shrub. Stems and leaves covered Full sun toJasmimum multiflorum 5-10 Low with downy pubescence—giving plant grayish-green appearance. Small, white, star- partial shade shaped flowers in clusters—year-round. Caution: J. sambac is FLEPPC Category II.Peregrina Full sun to Deeply-lobed leaves and showy display of small red flowers throughout the year. 15 ModerateJatropha integerrima partial shade Needs good drainage. Mites and scales can be problems. Poisonous.Coral plant, physic nut ♦ Full sun to Shrub to small tree with loose, spreading crown. Large, distinctive leaves with 7-11Jatropha multifida 6-20 partial shade High narrow lobes and each lobe divided into narrow, pointed segments. Flowers coral red, in flat-topped clusters on long stalks above foliage. All parts are poisonous.Chinese juniper Low- Evergreen groundcover, shrub, or tree, depending on variety. Both adult and juvenile 2-50 Full sunJuniperus chinensis Moderate foliage found on adult trees. Berries fleshy and glaucous white.Shrimp plant ♦ 3-5 Full sun to None See description in “Perennials” above.Justicia brandegeana full shade
Crepe myrtle ♦ Grown for peeling bark and outstanding late spring to summer blossom in variousLagerstroemia indica 8-25 Full sun None shades of pink, red purple and white. Miniatures used for edging; standards used as specimen plants. Aphids and powdery mildew can be problems.West Indian sea lavender Rounded shrub with fine, grayish-green leaves and small white flowers. 4-6 Full sun HighMallotonia gnaphalodesBarbados cherry ♦ Full sun to Attractive shrub. Produces clusters of small, pink flowers, followed by red, cherry-Malpighia glabra 5-10 partial shade Moderate sized, edible fruit that is tart in flavor and rich in vitamin C. Makes good hedge. Nematodes a problem on sandy soils. Plant bugs spoil fruit. Benefits from mulch.Monstera ♦ Full sun to Slow-growing vine or shrub with huge, broad, glossy, perforated and deeply cutMonstera deliciosa 5-6 partial shade Low leaves and woody stems with aerial roots. Mature plants bear thick, cream spathes followed by sweet-smelling, cone-like, edible fruit.Simpson’s stopper ♦♥ Full sun to One of the most beautiful and ornamental native woody plants. Densely branched,Myrcianthes fragrans 6-20 partial shade High densely leafy large shrub to small tree. Pure white, puffy flowers followed by large, bright orange berries which contrast with dark foliage. Attractive to birds.Wax myrtle ♦♥ Full sun to Native, clumping, fast-growing shrub to small tree with small, evergreen leaves,Myrica cerifera 10-25 partial shade Low inconspicuous flowers, and waxy gray fruit attached to twigs. Leaves and fruit smell like bayberry. Tolerates periodic flooding. Natural insect repellant. Attracts birds.Mazari palm ♦ Medium-sized, shrubby palm with branching trunks and whitish-blue, fan-shapedNannorrhops ritchiana 10-20 Full sun to None leaves. Each stem flowers only once and dies back. Exceptionally cold-tolerant. partial shade Prefers cool, arid climate but tolerates south Florida quite well. Slightly susceptible to lethal yellowing disease.Firespike Small, showy, evergreen shrub with sparse, thick, upright branches, shiny, darkOdontonema strictum green leaves with wavy margins, and 9-12” upright panicles of brilliant red, tubular Full sun to 6 Low flowers in late summer to early winter. Tolerates all but most severe droughts. partial shade Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Caution: Do not plant within 500’ of native hardwood hammock in Miami-Dade County.Prickly-pear cactus ♦ Many species, from tiny plants with tuberous roots to ‘trees’ over 30’ tall. BranchesOpuntia spp. constricted, forming broad/flattened or cylindrical ‘joints’. Most have sharp spines 6”-30’ Full sun High and small bristles. Flowers generally yellow or red, followed by edible fruits (prickly pears). Caution: O. aurantiaca is a federal- and state-listed invasive species (Burks, 2000).Jacob’s ladder Flowers insignificant; surrounded by showy, slipper-like red bracts. Zig-zag stems,Pedilanthus tithymaloides 6 Partial shade High with prominently keeled leaves. Well adapted to poor dry soil. Variegated cultivars. Poisonous. Prune to avoid leggy appearance.Selloum, tree philodendron ♦ 5-15 Full sun to Low Prostrate to upright trunks. Huge, deeply divided, dark green leaves. Also known asPhilodendron selloum partial shade tree philodendron because it does not climb. Also known as P. bipinnatifidum.Pittosporum ♦ Full sun to Broadleafed, evergreen shrub with bright green, glossy leaves (can be variegated)Pittosporum tobira 10-15 partial shade Moderate and clusters of small, white flowers that smell like orange blossoms. Moderate to fast grower.Plumbago ♦ 3-10 Full sun Low See description in “Perennials” above.Plumbago auriculata
Podocarpus ♦ 5-40 Full sun to None Evergreen shrub or tree with needle -like leaves. Makes an excellent hedge. BearsPodocarpus macrophyllus partial shade small, bluish ‘berries’.Aralias ♦ 2-25 Full sun to Moderate Many species and cultivars used as shrubs, hedges and groundcovers. Foliage differsPolyscias spp partial shade in form (usually compound); leaves often lobed and/or variegated.Elephant bush Grown for jade colored leaves and red stems. Rarely flowers in cultivation. Grow in Full sun toPortulacaria afra 3 High gritty, freely draining soil. Provide good air circulation. Variegated form exists. partial shade Excellent for rock gardens.Wild coffee ♦♥ Partial to full Native small shrub with distinctive, highly glossy, dark green leaves with deeplyPsychotria nervosa 6-9 shade Low impressed side veins. Related to gardenia and similar in overall appearance. Flowers abundant over much of the year, followed by decorative red berries.Velvetleaf wild coffee ♦♥ 6-9 Partial to full Low Native small shrub similar in all respects to P. nervosa, but with velvety, deep blue-Psychotria sulzneri shade green foliage.White indigoberry ♥ 1.5-10 Full sun to High Native shrub with no outstanding features. Fragrant flowers and white berries onRandia aculeata partial shade female plants. Main attribute is ability to grow under adverse conditions.Buckthorn Deciduous plant with glossy, dark green, oval leaves up to 3” long. InsignificantRhamnus spp. green flowers followed by small fruit that change from red to black as they ripen. No 15 Full sun High outstanding landscape value, but well adapted to dry, infertile sites. Numerous spines make these plants useful as security screens.Lady palm ♦ Partial to full Small, densely clumping fan palm with numerous slender, dark brown trunks bearingRhapis excelsa 5-10 shade None distinctive fibers and leaf scar patterns. Small, deeply segmented, glossy dark green leaves on thin, delicate petioles. Often used as shrub or potted plant.Rosemary ♦ Evergreen, woody shrub with aromatic, needle -like leaves and gray, scaly bark. EasyRosemarinus officinalis 3 Full sun High to propagate from cuttings. Widely used as herb or nontraditional medicine. Upright forms perform best.Firecracker plant ♦ 2-4 Full sun High See description in “Perennials” above.Russelia equisetiformisScrub palmetto ♦♥ 3-4 Full sun Moderate Small, native, trunkless, shrub-like palm resembling Serenoa repens but with smoothSabal etonia petioles.Dwarf blue palmetto ♦♥ 3-4 Partial shade Moderate Small, native, trunkless, shrub-like palm resembling S. etonia , but smaller and withSabal minor bluish-green leaves. Can tolerate wet soils.American elderberry ♥ Native bushy, multi-stemmed, wide-spreading shrub with deciduous, compoundSambucus canadensis 10-15 Full sun to Low leaves. Tiny, star-shaped, white flowers followed by shiny, blue-black fruit. Provides partial shade colorful autumn display of yellows, oranges, and reds in south Florida. Branches brittle. Forms dense thickets by suckering from roots.Inkberry ♥ Full sun to Native plant with succulent leaves. Insignificant, small, pink/white flowers. SpreadsScaevola plumieri 2-4 High by underground stems. Well-suited to sandy soils at beach-front. Caution: Scaevola partial shade sericea (=S. taccada v. sericea, S. frutescens) is FLEPPC Category I invasive.Dwarf schefflera ♦ Full sun to Many cultivars, some with variegated foliage. Used as specimen or informal hedge.Schefflera arboricola 6-15 Moderate Takes pruning well. Mealybugs and scales can be a problem. Caution: Schefflera partial shade actinophylla is FLEPPC Category I invasive.
Desert senna ♦ Small tree with a beautiful cascading habit. Prefers well-drained soil. Small, yellowSenna polyphylla 12 Full sun Low flowers mostly in dry season. Caution: Senna pendula is FLEPPC Category I invasive.Saw palmetto ♦♥ Full sun to Native clumping fan palm with subterranean, prostrate, or upright trunks. One of theSerenoa repens 3-8 partial shade High most abundant and widely-planted palms in Florida. Green and silver forms. Spreading tendency can be problem when left uncontrolled.Necklace-pod ♦♥ 6 Full sun High Large, densely branched native shrub with natural rounded shape. Bears clusters ofSophora tomentosa yellow flowers at tips of branches. Fast-growing and easily cultivated.Blue porterweed ♦♥ 1-3 Full sun to Moderate See description in “Perennials” above.Stachytarpheta jamaicensis partial shadePink porterweed ♦ 1-3 Full sun to Moderate See description in “Perennials” above.Stachytarpheta speciosa partial shadeWhite bird-of-paradise ♦ 8-20 Full sun to Low Named for the appearance of the spectacular flowers. Foliage dark green, banana-Strelitzia nicolae partial shade like. Drought tolerant once established. Relative of banana.Orange bird-of-paradise ♦ 3-5 Full sun to Low Named for spectacular flowers. Foliage gray-green, fan-like. Drought tolerant onceStrelitzia reginae partial shade established. Scales can be a problem.Marmalade plant Fast-growing, evergreen shrub grown for showy yellow to dark orange flowersStreptosolen jamesonii 6 Full sun Low produced winter to spring. Needs open, sunny site with excellent drainage. Sprawling growth benefits from support. Prune hard after flowering is complete.Bay cedar ♥ Native, small-leaved, evergreen shrub or small tree. Clusters of small, leathery leavesSuriana maritima 6-12 Full sun High and attractive, peeling bark. Will grow in sand or on bare rock. Good choice for ocean and beach-front sites.African milkbush Large shrub to small tree. Fleshy leaves and stems, becoming woody with age. 16 Full sun HighSynadenium grantii Showy clusters of red flowers. Milky latex is poisonous.Cape honeysuckle Sprawling, rampant, evergreen, sometimes vine-like shrub. Compound leaves with 5-Tecomaria capensis Full sun to 7 toothed, diamond-shaped leaflets. Clusters of brilliant red-orange to scarlet, tubular 2-10 High light shade flowers. Can be pruned to shrub, trained to espalier, or grown as vine or ground- cover. Requires well-drained soil.Tetrazygia, West Indian lilac ♦♥ Full sun to Extremely ornamental, native, tropical shrub to small tree. Beautiful white andTetrazygia bicolor 6-40 light shade Low yellow flowers followed by purple -black berries, highly attractive to birds. Elegant, glossy, dark green foliage. Cannot be used as hedge, as branches die when pruned.Limeberry Small, glossy, trifoliate leaves. Fragrant, diminutive white flowers. Edible red 3-10 Full sun ModerateTriphasia trifolia berries. Well adapted to rocky, calcareous soil.Walter’s viburnum, black haw ♥ Full sun to Native large shrub to small tree with attractive, pure white blossoms in spring, beforeViburnum obovatum 12-30 partial shade Low leaves fully developed. Flowers followed by berries that turn from green to pink to red to purplish-black in the fall. Ideal as a hedge.Spanish bayonet ♦ 5-20 Full sun or High Trunk-forming yucca with dangerous sharp, pointed, strap-like leaves. Trunks oftenYucca aloifolia partial shade topped with large, upright clusters of creamy white flowers. Spreads to form thicket.Bear grass, Adam’s needle ♥ 3-6 Full sun High Leaves, resembling long green spears edged with white threads, form basal rosette.Yucca filamentosa White, bell-shaped flowers bloom in terminal spikes from the mid to late summer.