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Clusia Lanceolata (Porcelain Flower)Clusia Lanceolata (Porcelain Flower)

Clusia Lanceolata

Clusia Lanceolata

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Clusia Lanceolata (Porcelain Flower), is a small tree or shrub. The Clusia tree reaches a height of up to 10 feet. It is native to the sandy coastal plains of brazil. The crown is slightly irregular, rounded, easily shaped with trimming. Additionally,  the glossy thick leaves are leathery, and bright green.  The lance-shaped (lanceolate) leaves are about 3 inches long. Special care should be taken with this plant because the leaves contain a white latex. The latex is a skin irritant and toxic if ingested.

Moreover, flowers are striking, 5-petaled, white rimmed with a reddish center, sometimes referred to as porcelain flowers, and attract bees and other insects. Clusia starts blooming at a young age and has flowers present most of the year. The flowers remain for a few days. Clusia grows well in full sun to light shade. It’s native to sandy coastal areas of Brazil and Venezuela, so it’s tolerant of tropical seacoast conditions, such as wind, drought, and salt air. It’s frost tender, so winter protection is necessary in colder climates, Fruits are red capsules, when ripe they drop orange cylindrical seeds, used for propagation but should be handled with gloves; propagation also can be by semi-hardwood cuttings. The seeds attract birds.

Clusia Lanceolata (Porcelain Flower) grows well on soils of nearly pure sand/clay mixture and has average water needs. The bright green leaves and colorful flowers make this tree ideal in many garden settings, including seasides, and it is a good container plant.

Clusia Lanceolata was chosen by fairchild tropical garden as one of the plants of the year 2007.

Additional information

Common Name

Balsam Apple

Florida Native

No, Not FL Native



Flowering Season

All Year

Drought Tolerance

Moderate Drought Tolerance

Salt Tolerance

Moderate Salt Tolerance

Growth Rate

Slow Growth Rate

Light Requirements

Full Sun

Flower Color


Plant Type



25 gal., 45 gal., 65 gal., 100 gal., 200 gal., 300 gal.