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October 21st, 2020

Myrsine is a great native plant choice

by R.S. Walsh

Rapanea-Myrsine guanesis or commonly known as Myrsine is a frequently used Florida native plant. Its leathery green leaves are its most prominent feature. The flowers are small and inconspicuous greenish-yellow. The Myrsine is often grown as a bush although it will grow taller reaching up to 20 feet high if not kept trimmed to a desirable height. It is full and dense which makes it ideal for screening purposes. You will often see the Myrsine as a background plant and it also blends well with other Florida native plant species. This plant is often designed and installed in shrub groupings in the landscape garden as well.

If you are looking to design or create a tropical landscape, the Myrsine may not be the one that first comes to mind. However, if you are planning a native garden or need a screen or buffer planting then it should be well considered. One of the benefits of this Florida native plant as well as other native plants is that they require less irrigation to maintain them once established. As a result, the Myrsine will require very little maintenance other than selective pruning to the desired shape and height. The Myrsine is adaptable to variable soil conditions and grows well in shaded or partially sunny environments. It also has a good tolerance for salt spray making it a good choice for beachfront conditions.

Overall, the Myrsine is a great choice to add to the native plant palette for your garden or landscape. The adaptability under many environmental conditions and its ease of maintenance makes this native a desirable addition to your landscape especially when used for a natural buffer.

This plant column is a joint effort by all at In The Garden, a Sanibel garden center, located at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Rd., Sanibel, Florida.

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