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Chiococca pinetorum Pineland Snowberry

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen

Introduction

Chiococca pinetorum is a handsome, low scrambling shrub that can reach a height of 10 feet if given a support to climb upon (Figure 1). It climbs into neighboring trees and shrubs in the wild. The leathery leaves of the snowberry are evergreen, shiny, and dark green in color. They are smaller than C. alba. White or purple-white, tubular flowers are found in the leaf axil and occur in 3-inch-long racemes or panicles. Each raceme or panicle is tipped with 6 to 8 of the flowers, and these flowers turn from white to yellow with time. The common name used for this shrub refers to the large, ovoid, sparkling white fruits that follow the delightful flowers.

Figure 1. Pineland snowberry.
Figure 1. Leaf - Chiococca pinetorum: Pineland snowberry. 
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS 

 

General Information

Scientific name: Chiococca pinetorum

Pronunciation: kye-oh-KOE-kuh pye-net-TOR-um

Common name(s): pineland snowberry

Family: Rubiaceae

Plant type: ground cover

USDA hardiness zones: 10B through 11 (Figure 2)

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round

Origin: native to Florida

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive 

Uses: espalier; mass planting; foundation; ground cover

Availability: grown in small quantities by a small number of nurseries

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Credit:

Description

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Spread: 3 to 6 feet

Plant habit: spreading; round

Plant density: open

Growth rate: slow

Texture: medium

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: ovate

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; white-purple

Flower characteristic: flowers periodically throughout the year

Fruit

Fruit shape: round

Fruit length: less than .5 inch

Fruit cover: fleshy

Fruit color: white

Fruit characteristic: attracts birds

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: typically multi-trunked or clumping stems; 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

Drought tolerance: high

Soil salt tolerances: unknown

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: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

This plant may be used as a tall ground cover in a partially shaded or sunny location. Plants blend together making a loose mass of foliage several years after planting on 4- to 5-foot centers.

The snowberry is a shrub that needs a well-drained soil. It will grow well on sandy loam soils and can tolerate dry conditions. This plant can be found near coastal areas throughout Florida and will usually survive without care once it becomes established.

Pest and Diseases

Chewing insects may occasionally be a problem for Chiococca pinetorum.

Publication #FPS125

Release Date:May 3, 2023

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

  • Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS125, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised May 2023. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor; Ryan Klein, assistant professor; and Gail Hansen, professor; Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Contacts

  • Gail Hansen de Chapman