This document is Fact Sheet FPS-567, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date: October, 1999 Please visit the EDIS Web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational
information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin.
For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative
Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences / University of Florida / Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean
Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University
of Florida, Gainesville, 32611.
Fact Sheet FPS-567
Edward F. Gilman
Brush Cherry has beautiful reddish foliage when it first
emerges (Fig. 1). The shiny leaves slowly turn dark green on
thin brown twigs. Older plants eventually reach to about 12 feet
tall, but most are clipped into hedges in residential landscapes.
Showy white flowers borne in the warm months are usually
pruned off and not very noticeable. However flowers on
unclipped plants are quite attractive as they fill the canopy.
Several stems arise from the lower part of the tree forming a
multiple trunked tree well adapted for many landscapes. The
plant may still be referred to as Eugenia myrtifolia in some
Scientific name: Syzygium paniculatum
USDA hardiness zones:
10 through 11 (Fig. 2)
Planting month for zone 10 and 11:
native to Florida
container or above-ground planter; near a deck or patio;
superior hedge; small parking lot islands (< 100 square feet in
size); medium-sized parking lot islands (100-200 square feet in
size); large parking lot islands (> 200 square feet in size);
narrow tree lawns (3-4 feet wide); medium-sized tree lawns (4-
Height: 12 to 20 feet
6 feet wide); wide tree lawns (>6 feet wide); recommended for
buffer strips around parking lots or for median strip plantings in
the highway; screen
somewhat available, may have to go out of the
region to find the plant
8 to 15 feet
vase shape; oval
-- Brush Cherry Page 2
Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Growth rate: moderate
Fruit cover: fleshy
Fruit color: red; black
none, or difficult to see
Leaf type and persistence:
Leaf blade length:
less than 2 inches
purple or red
no fall color change
less than .5 inch
suited for human consumption; attracts
Trunk and Branches
typically multi-trunked or clumping
Current year stem/twig color:
Current year stem/twig thickness:
plant grows in part shade/part sun
acidic; alkaline; sand; loam; clay;
Soil salt tolerances:
36 to 60 inches
-- Brush Cherry Page 3
Roots: usually not a problem
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features
and could be planted more
not known to be invasive
no serious pests are normally seen on the plant
Use and Management
The most common use of Brush Cherry is for a tall screen
or hedge. Small leaves, year-round growth and a natural
compact habit make this one of the premier hedge plants in
south Florida. It is also nicely suited for espalier or topiary.
Drought tolerance and nice foliage make it a nice addition to a
deck or patio when planted in a container.
Trees can be trained in the nursery to one central trunk or
allowed and encouraged to develop multiple trunks as plants
age. The bark on these older trunks is quite showy. Brush
Cherry creates shade for a patio or deck, but will not grow to
the large, often overpowering size of a large tree such as a Fig.
They can be used along streets, in highway medians and in
parking lots because they adapt to small soil spaces and do not
become very large. Street and parking lot trees are often
specified to have one trunk to allow for vehicle clearance
beneath the crown. Multiple trunked trees are often specified
for specimen planting so the beautiful bark can be displayed.
Stopper grows well in south Florida on limestone soils as
an understory plant. However, it is perfectly adapted to more
open, sunny locations where it will flourish with little care once
it becomes established.
Pests and Diseases
Scales and mites can infest the foliage and twigs.