Crossopetalum rhacoma


Rhacoma is a three to eight foot tall native shrub with a fountain-like growth of arching stems. The small red berries occur most of the year.

Rhacoma or maidenberry is found in some of the Keys and Miami Rocklands in limerock or sand. It is not tolerant of salt air or water yet grows near the edge of salt marshes just above the high water line. Here, the wind gives it a bonsia-like shape.

A tough plant that grows well through Palm Beach County in full sun and rich soil. It needs a little fertilizer to look its best. The red berries are eaten by birds and are not poisonous or particularly tasty either.

The fountain-like growth and red berries make this a good rock garden plant when mixed with low ground covers. These may include quailberry, cacti, pineland petunia, Havana scullcap, Melanthera pumila, silver or key palms and beach alternanthera or sea purslane.