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Randia aculeata White Indigoberry

Edward F. Gilman


Randia aculeata has been rated by some as one of the best shrubs for the south Florida area, but it is little known (Figure 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.

Figure 1. White indigoberry
Figure 1.  White indigoberry


General Information

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 (Figure 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.
Figure 2.  Shaded area represents potential planting range.



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


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


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


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


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.

Publication #FPS497

Date: 9/28/2015

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

  • Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS497, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman