Shrubs & Hedges (HE-P)

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 dropHeliconia --

Heliconia episcopalis

Heliconia Collection Descriptions

UF Fact Sheet (44KB pdf)

3-7

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Smaller heliconia with tight, arrowhead-shaped inflorescence bearing dense but colorful bracts which begin red then fade to orange then yellow toward the tips. Year-round bloomer.

water dropHeliconia --

Heliconia latispatha

UF Fact Sheet (44KB pdf)

6-15

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Tall heliconia with long-stalked, yellow-green, banana-like leaves with a red margin and erect inflorescence with widely spaced, triangular-shaped bracts that are yellow or orange at base, changing to scarlet at tips.

water dropLobster claw heliconia --

Heliconia descriptions

Heliconia rostrata

UF Fact Sheet (44KB pdf)

3-20

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Tall heliconia with long-stalked, green to bluish-green, 5’-long, banana-like leaves and pendant inflorescence with zig-zagging bracts of scarlet and yellow.

water dropChinese hat plant

Holmskioldia sanguinea  

UF Fact Sheet (42KB pdf)

3-6

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Unique flowers are main interest of this scrambling shrub/vine: each is a narrow, orange-scarlet tube backed by a broad, circular calyx, appearing in dense terminal clusters through summer and fall. Leaves oval and slightly serrated. Rampant growth can be contained by pruning after flowering. Old canes can be removed. Loses leaves during drought.

Beach elder

Iva imbricata

2-3

Full sun

High

Scraggly, course, shrubby perennial. Good for beach-front plantings.

Joewood ©

Jacquinia keyensis

10

Full sun to partial shade

High

Very slow-growing, native shrub with attractive foliage and year-round, showy, fragrant blooms. Good resistance to wind and salt spray. Some shade from hottest sun beneficial.

Primrose jasmine

Jasminum mesnyi

5-10

Full sun to partial shade

Low

Rambling, open, evergreen, shrub with long, arching stems that will climb if given support. Without support, grows as fountain-like mound. Fragrant, yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers. Caution: J. dichotomum and J. fluminense are FLEPPC Category I.

Downy jasmine

Jasminum multiflorum

5-10

Full sun to partial shade

Low

Evergreen, branching vine that can be trained as a shrub. Stems and leaves covered with downy pubescence—giving plant grayish-green appearance. Small, white, star-shaped flowers in clusters—year-round. Caution: J. sambac is FLEPPC Category II.

Peregrina

Jatropha integerrima

15

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Deeply-lobed leaves and showy display of small red flowers throughout the year.  Needs good drainage. Mites and scales can be problems.  Poisonous.

Coral plant, physic nut --

Jatropha multifida

6-20

Full sun to partial shade

High

Shrub to small tree with loose, spreading crown. Large, distinctive leaves with 7-11 narrow lobes and each lobe divided into narrow, pointed segments. Flowers coral red, in flat-topped clusters on long stalks above foliage. All parts are poisonous.

Chinese juniper

Juniperus chinensis 

UF Fact Sheet (154KB pdf)

2-50

Full sun

Low-Moderate

Evergreen groundcover, shrub, or tree, depending on variety. Both adult and juvenile foliage found on adult trees. Berries fleshy and glaucous white.

Shrimp plant --

Justicia brandegeana

3-5

Full sun to full shade

None

See description in “Perennials” above.

Crepe myrtle --

Lagerstroemia indica

UF Fact Sheet (155KB pdf)

8-25

Full sun

None

Grown for peeling bark and outstanding late spring to summer blossom in various shades of pink, red purple and white. Miniatures used for edging; standards used as specimen plants. Aphids and powdery mildew can be problems.

Barbados cherry --

Malpighia emarginata

UF Fact Sheet (46KB pdf)

5-10

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Attractive shrub. Produces clusters of small, pink flowers, followed by red, cherry-sized, edible fruit that is tart in flavor and rich in vitamin C. Makes good hedge. Nematodes a problem on sandy soils. Plant bugs spoil fruit. Benefits from mulch. Also known as M. glabra.

water dropMonstera --

Monstera deliciosa

UF Fact Sheet (39KB pdf)

5-6

Full sun to partial shade

Low

Slow-growing vine or shrub with huge, broad, glossy, perforated and deeply cut leaves and woody stems with aerial roots. Mature plants bear thick, cream spathes followed by sweet-smelling, cone-like, edible fruit.

Simpson’s stopper -- ©

Myrcianthes fragrans

UF Fact Sheet (36KB pdf)

6-20

Full sun to partial shade

High

One of the most beautiful and ornamental native woody plants. Densely branched, densely leafy large shrub to small tree. Pure white, puffy flowers followed by large, bright orange berries which contrast with dark foliage. Attractive to birds.

water dropWax myrtle -- ©

Myrica cerifera

UF Fact Sheet (185KB pdf)

10-25

Full sun to partial shade

Low

Native, clumping, fast-growing shrub to small tree with small, evergreen leaves, inconspicuous flowers, and waxy gray fruit attached to twigs. Leaves and fruit smell like bayberry. Tolerates periodic flooding. Natural insect repellant. Attracts birds.

Mazari palm --

Nannorrhops ritchiana

10-20

Full sun to partial shade

None

Medium-sized, shrubby palm with branching trunks and whitish-blue, fan-shaped leaves. Each stem flowers only once and dies back. Exceptionally cold-tolerant. Prefers cool, arid climate but tolerates south Florida quite well. Slightly susceptible to lethal yellowing disease.

Firespike

Odontonema strictum

UF Fact Sheet (61KB pdf)

6

Full sun to partial shade

Low

Small, showy, evergreen shrub with sparse, thick, upright branches, shiny, dark green leaves with wavy margins, and 9-12” upright panicles of brilliant red, tubular flowers in late summer to early winter. Tolerates all but most severe droughts. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Caution: Do not plant within 500’ of native hardwood hammock in Miami-Dade County.

Prickly-pear cactus --

Opuntia spp.

UF Fact Sheet (217KB pdf)

6”-30’

Full sun

High

Many species, from tiny plants with tuberous roots to ‘trees’ over 30’ tall. Branches constricted, forming broad/flattened or cylindrical ‘joints’. Most have sharp spines and small bristles. Flowers generally yellow or red, followed by edible fruits (prickly pears). Caution: O. aurantiaca is a federal- and state-listed invasive species (Burks, 2000).

Jacob’s ladder

Pedilanthus tithymaloides

6

Partial shade

High

Flowers insignificant; surrounded by showy, slipper-like red bracts. Zig-zag stems, with prominently keeled leaves. Well adapted to poor dry soil. Variegated cultivars.  Poisonous. Prune to avoid leggy appearance.

water dropSelloum, tree philodendron --

Philodendron selloum

UF Fact Sheet (86KB pdf)

5-15

Full sun to partial shade

Low

Prostrate to upright trunks. Huge, deeply divided, dark green leaves. Also known as tree philodendron because it does not climb. Also known as P. bipinnatifidum.

Pittosporum --

Pittosporum tobira

UF Fact Sheet (93KB pdf)

10-15

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Broadleafed, evergreen shrub with bright green, glossy leaves (can be variegated) and clusters of small, white flowers that smell like orange blossoms. Moderate to fast grower.

Plumbago --

Plumbago auriculata

UF Fact Sheet (62KB pdf)

3-10

Full sun

Low

Attractive light blue flowers in terminal spikes. Drought tolerant once well established. Prone to root and stem rots. Freely draining soil and good air circulation.

Podocarpus --

Podocarpus macrophylla

UF Fact Sheet (133KB pdf)

5-40

Full sun to partial shade

None

Evergreen shrub or tree with needle-like leaves. Makes an excellent hedge. Bears small, bluish ‘berries’.

Aralias --

Polyscias spp -- ©

UF Fact Sheet (46KB pdf)

2-25

Full sun to partial shade

Moderate

Many species and cultivars used as shrubs, hedges and groundcovers. Foliage differs in form (usually compound); leaves often lobed and/or variegated.

Elephant bush

Portulacaria afra

3

Full sun to partial shade

High

Grown for jade colored leaves and red stems. Rarely flowers in cultivation. Grow in gritty, freely draining soil. Provide good air circulation. Variegated form exists. Excellent for rock gardens.

water dropWild coffee -- ©

Psychotria nervosa

UF Fact Sheet (38KB pdf)

6-9

Partial to full shade

Low

Native small shrub with distinctive, highly glossy, dark green leaves with deeply impressed side veins. Related to gardenia and similar in overall appearance. Flowers abundant over much of the year, followed by decorative red berries.

water dropVelvetleaf wild coffee -- ©

Psychotria sulzneri

6-9

Partial to full shade

Low

Native small shrub similar in all respects to P. nervosa, but with velvety, deep blue-green foliage.

Bahama wild coffee

Psychotria ligustifolia