Simpson's Stopper (Myrcianthes fragrans)

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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!

How to Grow Simpson's Stopper

Plant Type: Evergreen Fruiting Shrub, Small Tree

Harvest Season: Summer - Fall

Mature Size: Height 20-30 ft. spread 14-20 ft. 

Soil & Moisture: Prefers well-draining soil but can also handle slight periods of standing water AND is highly drought tolerant.  This here is one hardy shrub.

Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade

Zone Hardiness: 8-11

Size Matters!

The overall look and size of your plant will depend on the amount of sun it's exposed to. When planted in full sun, Simpson's stopper forms a densely growing plant that makes a great hedge. In partial shade, the foliage is slightly less dense and affords a better view of the exfoliating bark and super cool branching.