Crossopetalum ilicifolium


Although quailberry is native to parts of the Keys and the Dade County rocklands this low shrub of only six inches does well through Palm Beach County. It will spread out to a two foot diameter mat of tiny green leaves with bright red berries almost all year.

The soil should be rich with fertilizer and mulch to produce the most beautiful plants. We lay down weed cloth with mulch on top and cut a hole to place the plant in. Full sun is required although partial shade will do. Birds eat the berries which are mildly sweet and edible in small quantities.

This is not a holly, but a member of the Bittersweet family. The low height and slow growth rate make this a superb groundcover.

Use quailberry in a rock garden along with lignum vitae, beach creeper, longstalk stopper, thatch palms, coontie, Chapman’s cassia, Joewood, rhacoma, twinflower, Havana scullcap and locustberry.