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Publication #FPS497

Randia aculeata White Indigoberry1

Edward F. Gilman2

Introduction

Randia aculeata has been rated by some as one of the best shrubs for the south Florida area, but it is little known (Fig. 1). This 6- to 10-foot-tall, evergreen shrub has small, spiny, leathery leaves that are clustered toward the tips of the branches. These leaves and the stiff branching habit of this plant give it a sort of geometric look. The small, white, axillary flowers produced by this plant are fragrant and occur throughout the year. The white Indigoberry also has showy white fruits that give this plant a certain appeal. In the landscape this plant could be commonly used as a specimen.

General Information

Figure 1. 

White indigoberry


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]
Scientific name: Randia aculeata
Pronunciation: RAN-dee-uh ah-kew-lee-AY-tuh
Common name(s): white indigoberry
Family: Rubiaceae
Plant type: shrub
USDA hardiness zones: 10 through 11 (Fig. 2)
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round
Origin: native to Florida
Uses: specimen; foundation; border
Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Figure 2. 

Shaded area represents potential planting range.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Description

Height: 6 to 10 feet
Spread: 5 to 8 feet
Plant habit: round
Plant density: open
Growth rate: slow
Texture: medium

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: entire
Leaf shape: orbiculate
Leaf venation: pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy

Flower

Flower color: white
Flower characteristic: pleasant fragrance; year-round flowering

Fruit

Fruit shape: oval
Fruit length: .5 to 1 inch
Fruit cover: fleshy
Fruit color: white
Fruit characteristic: attracts birds

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: thorns present; not particularly showy
Current year stem/twig color: green
Current year stem/twig thickness: thin

Culture

Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun
Soil tolerances: acidic; alkaline; sand; loam; clay
Drought tolerance: high
Soil salt tolerances: moderate
Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches

Other

Roots: usually not a problem
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

The white indigoberry will flourish on well-drained sandy or rocky soils. It is quite drought tolerant and prefers to be planted in full sun. Its habit is open in the shade. This plant has a very high salt spray tolerance and is a great shrub for coastal landscapes.

Pests and Diseases

No major problems are associated with this plant.

Footnotes

1.

This document is FPS497, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date September 1999. Revised June 2007. Reviewed June 2011. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.