Shrubs & Hedges (A-Ci)

Notes:

  • -- indicates plants commonly available in nurseries and/or garden centers in south Florida
  • © indicates Florida native plants
  • water drop indicates plants that can tolerate wet soils or occasional flooding. 

    Click on linked scientific names for photos and/or more information.

Common name
Scientific name

Size
(feet)

Light

Salt tolerance

Comments

water dropChenille plant --

Acalypha hispida

UF Fact Sheet (48KB pdf)

6-15

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Medium to large shrub with large, oval, evergreen leaves. Separate male and female plants. Females have long, velvety clusters of purple, bright red, or crimson flowers resembling fluffy cat’s tail. Can wilt in full sun during drought.

Copperleaf --

Acalypha wilkesiana

UF Fact Sheet (49KB pdf)

8-15

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Purple/red, green and pink foliage. Excellent for hedge or border, but can be over-powering.

Desert rose --

Adenium obesum

3-10

Full sun

Moderate

Very showy flowers year-round, particularly during hot, dry weather. Must have perfect drainage since this plant is very prone to root and stem rots. Will loose leaves during cool weather. Excellent for rock gardens. Scales occasional pest.

Century plant --

Agave americana

UF Fact Sheet (64KB pdf)

6-8

Full sun

High

Dramatic foliage and form. Evergreen, silver/gray to blue-green foliage. Showy, green-brown fruit. Armed with spines. Gritty, free- draining soil required. Blooms anywhere from 12-20 years of age, then dies. Excellent for rock gardens. Many other agaves available; some are variegated; all are drought tolerant. Caution: Sisal hemp, A. sisalana is a FLEPPC Category II invasive.

Purple allamanda --

Allamanda blanchetii

UF Fact Sheet (57KB pdf)

10

Full sun

None

Evergreen, vining shrub with purple, tubular flowers. Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Also known as Allamanda violacea.

Bush allamanda

Allamanda schotti

UF Fact Sheet (53KB pdf)

3-5

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Colorful, bright yellow, trumpet flowers. Glossy leaves in whorls of 3-6 on smooth stems, which bleed milky sap if cut. Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.

water drop

Shell ginger --

Alpinia zerumbet

UF Fact Sheet (61KB pdf)

6-12

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Tall stems topped with drooping inflorescences bearing white, pink, red, and yellow, shell-shaped flowers. Forms dense clumps. Green and variegated forms. Best growth in moist soil, but can tolerate drought. Benefits from mulch.

water dropBird’s nest anthurium --

Anthurium salviniae
(Link is to related species)

60

Partial to full shade

None

Large, herbaceous shrub or epiphyte consisting of majestic cluster of long, erect, tropical-looking leaves with wavy margins. Flowers relatively insignificant. Other bird’s nest anthuriums also drought tolerant.

Marlberry ©

Ardisia escallonioides

UF Fact Sheet (36KB pdf)

5-20

Partial shade

High

Native plant with attractive foliage and berries. Can be used as small specimen tree or barrier shrub. Attracts birds. Does poorly in full sun. Caution: The related shoebutton ardisia, A. elliptica, and coral ardisia, A. crenulata, are FLEPPC Category I invasive plants.

West Indian sea lavender

Argusia gnaphalodes

4-6

Full sun

High

Rounded shrub with fine, grayish-green leaves and small white flowers. Also known as Mallotonia gnaphalodes.

Silver sea oxeye

Borrichia arborescens

UF Fact Sheet (46KB pdf)

2-4

Full sun

High

Yellow, daisy-like flowers. Widely used on banks and slopes. Excellent for beach-front plantings in sand. Elsewhere, use freely draining soil to prevent root rot.

Bougainvillea --

Bougainvillea spp.

UF Fact Sheet (62KB pdf)

5-30

Full sun

None

Very showy, thorny vine-like shrub with best bloom during dry season. Numerous cultivars available in a striking array of colors, magenta being the most common.  Some with variegated foliage. Best effect as a vine but can be trained as a shrub. Caterpillars occasional pest. Requires freely draining soil. Do not over-fertilize.

water dropYesterday-today-
and-tomorrow
--

Brunfelsia grandiflora

UF Fact Sheet (50KB pdf)

3-8

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Aptly named shrub with pansy-like flowers that open purple on the first day, then turn pale lavender and the second day, and finally white on the third day. Some leaf drop may occur during persistent drought.

Butterfly bush --

Buddleia officinalis

UF Fact Sheet (156KB pdf)

6-12

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Fast-growing shrub with attractive pink, purple, or white flowers and gray-green leaves. Highly attractive to butterflies—hence the name. Nematodes occasional problem in sandy soils. Other tropical Buddleia also drought tolerant.

Locust-berry ©

Byrsonima lucida

UF Fact Sheet (53KB pdf)

3-30

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Native shrub to small tree with spreading canopy. Attractive flowers are white/pink to yellow. Orange to yellow berries attract wildlife. Can be used as a hedge.

Dwarf poinciana --

Caesalpinia pulcherrima

UF Fact Sheet (147KB pdf)

5-20

Full sun

Moderate

Large shrub to small tree. Showy orange/yellow flowers during warmer months. Needs good drainage. Leaves and seeds poisonous.

Beautyberry -- ©

Callicarpa americana

UF Fact Sheet (127KB pdf)

6-8

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Native shrub. Flowers insignificant, though long-lasting purple berries are quite attractive, and provide a good food source for birds.

water dropGiant milkweed

Calotropis gigantea

6

Full sun

Moderate

Large, thick, grayish-green leaves and purple to white, crown-like flowers. Tolerates poor soil, but requires excellent drainage. Host plant for monarch butterfly larvae.

water dropSpicewood ©

Calyptranthes pallens

UF Fact Sheet (39KB pdf)

5-25

Partial Shade

Moderate

Small, shrubby, native tree with burgundy-tinged new growth and insignificant white flowers. Can be sheared and grown as a hedge. Good drought tolerance, but prefers moist soil.

Jamaica caper -- ©

Capparis cynophallophora

UF Fact Sheet (54KB pdf)

18

Full sun to partial shade

High

Native, slow-growing, undemanding plant with attractive, white, fragrant, spider lily-like flowers. With time, can be shaped into attractive hedge.

Caper bush

Capparis spinosa

2-5

Full sun

None

Elegant shrub often grown for its green capers—which are flower buds, pickled and salted. When allowed to flower, produces large, long-stemmed, pink or white flowers with long stamens. Leaves nearly round. Canopy open.

Natal plum -- ©

Carissa macrocarpa

UF Fact Sheet (40KB pdf)

3-20

Full sun to light shade

High

Large shrub to small tree with attractive, thick, glossy foliage, fragrant, jasmine-like flowers, and edible fruit. The spiny leaves and stems make this a good barrier plant once established. Web blight a problem if excessively wet.

Candle bush

Cassia alata

UF Fact Sheet (111KB pdf)

8

Full sun

Low

Large, pinnate leaves. Terminal, 6” yellow flower spikes appear in late summer and fall.

water drop

Cat palm --

Chamaedorea cataractarum

3-8

Full sun to partial shade

Low

Mounding palm with elegant, dark green, glossy, feathery leaves. Can be used as a shrub or a hedge.

water dropBamboo palm --

Chamaedorea erumpens

UF Fact Sheet (59KB pdf)

6-10

Partial to full shade

None

Heavily clumping palm with tall, slender stems resembling bamboo canes. Can be used as a shrub or a hedge. Also known as C. seifrizii.

Cocoplum -- ©

Chrysobalanus icaco

3-15

Full sun to partial shade

High

Native shrub with insignificant flowers, but new foliage quite attractive. Often used as hedge, but will thin if planted in too much shade. Available in spreading and erect forms.

Pineland snowberry ©

Chiococca alba

UF Fact Sheet (42KB pdf)

2-3

Full sun

Low

Native vining shrub with glossy green, elliptical to lanceolate leaves and tiny white flowers. Also known as C. pinetorum.

Fiddlewood ©

Citharexylum spinosum

UF Fact Sheet (42KB pdf)

50

Full sun

High

Large, tropical tree with pyramidal crown, glossy, bright green, elliptical leaves, and elongated, arching panicles—to 1’ long—of small, white, fragrant flowers. Leaves turn bronze in cool weather. Fruit are dark purple berries. Attractive to birds. Also known as C. fruticosum.