Simpson’s stopper
Myrcianthes fragrans

Simpson's Stopper

Simpson’s stopper is found sparingly along the coast from Dade County to Vero Beach. Abundant masses are found along A1A and in inland hammocks from Vero Beach north to St. Johns County.

In the northern part of its range these become up to 20 foot tall shrubs with one inch oval leaves. South at Fern Forest Park, in Broward County, they become 40 foot or more tall trees with beautiful orange peeling bark and three inch long leaves.

The masses of fragrant white flowers in early summer are followed by bright orange, half inch oval fruit from June to September. These are fought over by local birds and raccoons. The raccoons break the branches as they pull them down to feed and leave scratches on the bark where they climb. The fruit is sweet and spicy with one to four green seeds inside.

Simpson stopper grows in average soil, full sun to moderate shade, and has no problem with freezing temperatures or some salt wind. It is moderately fast growing making this a good hedge that fills in quickly, yet needs little maintenance.

Use as a hedge, specimen tree, mix with other coastal species or plant in a group in front of a window. The cleaned trunks will frame your view out and with a few well placed clumps of lower foliage, provide a screen to give you privacy.