Simpson's Stopper (Myrcianthes fragrans)
Simpson's Stopper is a fruiting shrub or small tree native to Florida, among other exotic locales like the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America, all the way south through Colombia and Venezuela. It is a member of the Eucalyptus family and produces springtime flowers, colorful berries, and fragrant evergreen leaves.
The leaves have a warm nostalgic fall-like aroma when crushed - think spicey cinnamon and citrus. The showy white flowers are also very fragrant and are followed by red-orange berries in mid-summer and early fall. While these berries are edible and the fast-growing shrub is heavily utilized as a popular landscaping hedge, the plants are not often grown for the citrusy flavored berry - yet. I'll admit that the flavor and texture won't absolutely knock your socks off, but it's not unpalatable by any means and it really is a beautiful and useful native shrub. We love the look, texture, fragrance, and pop of color that growing Simpon's Stopper adds to our edible landscape!