Spanish stopper is an evergreen shrub or small tree native to coastal hardwood hammocks and thickets in Central and South Florida. Its semi-showy flowers bloom year-round, with peak blooming in spring and summer, attracting many types of pollinators. Its dense foliage provides cover and its abundant fruit provides food for birds and other small animals. Spanish stopper’s flowers are white and four-petaled with many stamens, giving the flower a frilly appearance. They are born in axillary clusters. Leaves are simple, leathery and ovate with reddish petioles. They are dark green with yellowish undersides. Margins are entire and appear yellow. Leaf arrangement is opposite. Crown is relatively narrow. Bark is smooth and brownish-gray; it may be scaly in older specimens. Fruits are small (about ¼-inch in diameter), round fleshy berries that are reddish in color, turning purplish-black when mature. Spanish stopper’s dense foliage makes it a good option for a hedge or buffer, as well as an accent or specimen plant. Its slender form make it especially suited for narrow spaces. It is moderately drought tolerant and can withstand hurricane winds.
1. Put a mixture of potting soil and sand or perlite into a pot with drainage holes in the base.
2. Sow the seeds on the soil.
3. Cover the seeds with a layer of soil that is 0.5 inches thick.
4. Water the seeds. Keep the soil moist but not wet.
5. Put the pots in an area in light shade.
6. The seeds take 1 month to germinate.
7. When the plants are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.