Myrsine
Rapanea punctata

myrsine

Myrsine is a suckering native shrub that makes a dense screen. Myrsine is found naturally from the upper keys to Volusia county both along the coast and inland.

Inland, it is found along the edge of wetlands and prefers moist to occasionally wet organic soil. Along the coast it is exposed to salt air and rich, dry soil. Myrsine is best grown in average soil with some organic matter.

Dioecious flowers are small and white, followed by BB size, black, one seeded hard berries on the female plants in late summer. These remain for most of the winter and feed migrating and local birds.

Although this is used as a hedge, it looks awful when boxed, as most shrubs do. Best if used as a natural screen that is cut back to an alternate leader once a year or allowed to grow to 12 feet or more. A free standing specimen of 30 feet is impressive.

This shrub seems most at home as part of a pineland planting. Plant pine trees, saw palmetto, dahoon holly, beauty berry and wild coffee with a backdrop of groups of myrsine. You can place your bench within the privacy of this screen and disappear from neighbors or passers by. Try under planting with swamp fern for a real woodsy feel.