Spanish stopper
Eugenia foetida

Spanish Stopper

Spanish Stopper is native from the Keys to Brevard County along the coast. This is a slow growing shrub or 20 foot tree. The upright growth allows this to be planted in tight spaces

The one inch oval leaves and compact growth make this a nice clipped hedge. The slow growth, drought and cold tolerance mean very little maintenance. Plant in deep, dry soil with some organic matter.

In late summer the plant is covered with white, fragrant masses of small flowers. The berries ripen slowly and are black by December. This is a good shrub to have when few others are providing fruit for birds.

The fibrous root system with no tap root make this hard to establish. It requires rich soil, and frequent watering with an open ended hose to penetrate the soil. Sprinkling does little to wet the soil.

Water once a week during a drought if the leaves start to turn brownish. Once established, no further maintenance is needed. This may take a couple of years in very dry soil.

Spanish stopper can be planted near a doorway, as a specimen or in a mix with marlberry, wild coffee, wild lime, saw palmetto, fiddlewood, Jamaica caper, firebush, crabwood and other coastal shrubs.

For a thick, tall hedge that needs very little to no maintenance after establishment, Spanish stopper is one of the best.