Non-Native to Florida
Download a page (PDF 141 KB) from Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition, by K.A. Langeland, H.M. Cherry, et al. University of Florida-IFAS Pub SP 257. 2008.
For control information, see Integrated Management of Nonnative Plants in Natural Areas of Florida (SP 242)
Date of introduction to Florida: 1931 (agriculture)
(from Strangers in Paradise, Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida, Chapter 2: Florida’s Invasion by Nonindigenous Plants: History, Screening, and Regulation, by D.R. Gordon and K.P. Thomas, pp. 21-37. Island Press, Washington, DC, 1997.)
Eugenia uniflora is occasionally found growing in disturbed hammocks in the central and southern peninsula of Florida. It is native to South America but escaped from cultivation. Surinam cherry blooms all year (Wunderlin, 2003).
Appearance: Evergreen, multibranched shrub or small tree to 10 m (30 ft) tall, usually shrub size in Florida; young stems often with red hairs and dark red new foliage.
Leaves: Opposite, simple, short petioled, oval to lance shaped, 2.5 – 8 cm (1–3 in) long, shiny dark green above, paler below; margins entire.
Flowers: White, fragrant, about 13 mm (0.5 in) across, with many stamens; occurring solitary or in clusters of 2 or 3 at leaf axils.
Fruit: A fleshy, juicy, orange-red berry to 4 cm (1.5 in) wide, depressed-globose, conspicuously 8-ribbed, with 1-3 seeds.
Text from Invasive and Non-Native Plants You Should Know, Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey, 2007. UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Publ. No. SP 431.
See more information and pictures about Surinam cherry, as contained in the Langeland/Burks book, Identification & Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas.
View the UF/IFAS Assessment, which lists plants according to their invasive status in Florida.