Florida Tetrazygia, West Indies Lilac
- Family: Malastomataceae
- Form: Highly ornamental. Evergreen, woody shrub with a multi-trunked nature reaching up 15 feet tall and wide. Pruning unnecessary to maintain form.
- Leaves: Simple, opposite, lanceolate with an acute apex and entire margins. 3-5 inches long. Dark, glossy green on top; lighter, dull silvery-green underneath. Three prominent veins run down the length of each leaf. The leaves are very attractive due to their high gloss and puckered appearance.
- Stem/Bark: Round, green stems with tiny brown spots get woody and grey with age.
- Flower: Impressive, white to pinkish 5-petaled flowers with bright yellow stamens are born in terminal clusters reaching 4 -5 inches in length.
- Fruit: Purple-black drupes arranged in open clusters ripen in late summer to early fall. Measuring 0.5 inch in length, they are very juicy and an excellent food source for birds.
- Comments: The species occurs naturally in Florida in rocky pinelands, open hammocks or other acid-rich well drained soils. This plant's foliage resembles the non-native common, highly ornamental purple-flowered Tibouchina of the same family. Formerly called Tetrazygia bicolor.
- Additional Resources:
The Institute for Regional Conservation Link