General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 10 feet to 15 feet usually, to 20 feet
Plant Spread: 10 to 15 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: 1/2 inch round purplish-black seed surrounded by a narrow band of fragrant black pulp.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Other: Tannish-white
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Late fall or early winter
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Patio/Ornamental/Small Tree
Uses: Shade Tree
Edible Parts: Fruit
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

Common names
  • Torchwood
  • Sea Torchwood
  • Sea Amyris
  • Candlewood
  • Common Torchwood
  • Tea
  • Cuabilla

Photo Gallery
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 28, 2022 9:52 AM concerning plant:
    Back in late winter of 2018 I saw an interesting shrub-tree just behind a fence at Trade Winds Park in southeast Florida, not far from Fort Lauderdale and took two photos. I finally found out what it was looking through plant guides online. This Common Torchwood is native to the eastern half of Florida from the far south up through the central region. It usually grows about 10 to 20 feet high, capable of being either a small tree or a large shrub or in-between. The small white flowers have prominent stamens and looks like 4 bracts below the petals. Birds and small mammals eat the black shiny round berries in clusters. The shiny foliage that can have 3 to 5 leaflets in the compound leaf can be either thin or leathery, and when crushed has a good smell. Several species of butterfly larvae feed on the foliage. I think there is only one native plant nursery in Miami that sells this native species.

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