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Garberia heterophylla Garberia

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


This low shrub is native to Florida and attains a height of 4 to 8 feet. It is also known as Garberia fruticosa. Garberia has dull grayish, viscid foliage that is quite distinctive. The obovate leaves are alternately arranged on the stems and are held vertically. The showy, late season flowers appear in terminal corymbs of lavender pink heads and are followed by small inconspicuous fruits; the fruits are achenes. Flowers literally cover the plant. Garberia is an attractive plant useful for planting alone as a specimen or in groups for its colorful show in late summer and fall.

Leaf - Garberia heterophylla: Garberia
Figure 1. Leaf - Garberia heterophylla: Garberia
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Garberia heterophylla

Pronunciation: gar-BEER-ee-uh het-tur-roe-FIL-lu

Common name(s): garberia

Family: Asteraceae

Plant type: shrub

USDA hardiness zones: 9 through 10A (Figure 2)

Planting month for zone 9: year round

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round

Origin: native to Florida

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: attracts butterflies; reclamation plant; border; mass planting

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.


Height: 4 to 8 feet

Spread: 6 to 8 feet

Plant habit: round

Plant density: moderate

Growth rate: slow

Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: alternate

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: obovate

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches

Leaf color: blue or blue-green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: lavender pink

Flower characteristic: fall flowering; showy


Fruit shape: irregular

Fruit length: less than 0.5 inch

Fruit cover: dry or hard

Fruit color: unknown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not particularly showy; typically multi trunked or clumping stems

Current year stem/twig color: brown

Current year stem/twig thickness: thin


Light requirement: plant grows in full sun

Soil tolerances: acidic; sand; loam

Drought tolerance: high

Soil salt tolerances: unknown

Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches


Roots: usually not a problem

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding

Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

Garberia is native to the sand ridges and hills of central and northeast peninsular Florida. This plant should be placed in a site which receives full sun. It tolerates drought but prefers acidic soils.

Pest and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern.

Publication #FPS-221

Release Date:October 24, 2023

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS-221, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman