West Indian Lilac
Tetrazygia bicolor

West Indian Lilac

West Indian Lilac or what I call Tetrazygia occurs in Southern Dade County and the Keys and will tolerate most conditions through Palm Beach County. Well drained, rich, organic, slightly acid sandy soil with no added limerock, such as near a road or driveway, is best for this plant. It won’t tolerate salt air or flooding and extended drought may cause dieback. Full sun or partial shade is best.

Most plants will grow to 10 feet and can be kept lower with yearly pruning. The white and yellow flowers are attractive and the blueberry sized and colored berries are very attractive to birds. These are not bad tasting either.

Remember that ground limestone or dolomite will kill this plant because it raises the soil PH above neutral. Tetrazygia naturally grows in decomposed leaf mold rich soil which is acid, even though the underlying ground is coral rock.

The leaves are tropical looking and quilted. Plant near pines and mix with thrinax palms, coontie, beach creeper, wild coffee, lignum vitae, saw palmetto, beauty berry, marlberry, and other pine rockland species and wildflowers.