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Eugenia Foetida (Spanish Stopper) more commonly known as Spanish stopper is a Florida native small tree or shrub. It is an understory plant in hammocks, typically reaching a height of 12 to 20 feet. The unusual common name apparently comes from the use of a leaf tea taken to stop diarrhea. This stopper has a lightly dense crown, spreading rounded crown. It’s commonly grown with multiple trunks and features a smooth, brown to gray mottled bark. It has reddish twigs. It’s leaves are leathery, green, darker above than below, opposite/sub-opposite, simple, entire, elliptical and up to 2 inches long.
Furthermore, its flowers are borne in dense, axillary clusters; the blooms are minute, white with yellow stamens. The flowers are inconspicuous and have an unpleasant fragrance, hence the species name. Additionally, its fruits are small fleshy edible berries, red maturing to black, and under 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Which is appealing to birds. The tiny seeds are used for propagation. The wood is useful in cabinetry, despite its small dimensions. The plant prefers sandy or limestone, well-drained soils with a humus layer. It responds well to pruning. This plant has no serious pest or disease problems.
Eugenia Foetida (Spanish Stopper) with its attractive bark, small green foliage and colorful berries has numerous landscape applications. It is ideal as a residential street tree, near a deck or patio, in small parking lot islands, as a hedge along a garden boundary and in a native plant garden. Fruit litter can be a problem.
Other Names: Eugenia mayana