Citharexylum spinosum

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Also known as Citharexylum fruticosum

Plant Specifics

Size:12 - 25 feet ft tall by to 12 feet ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:White
Fruit Color:Young fruits orange, mature to brown
Phenology:Evergreen. Dioecious. Flowers and fruits throughout the year. Moderately long lived (Nelson 2003)
Noted for:Aroma, fragrance, Showy flowers, Showy fruits, Hurricane wind resistance


Recommended Uses:Wonderful in a mixed hedge, can be sheared to desired height, but the flowers and berries are too good to be missed. Excellent specimen plant. This plant is naturally multi-stemmed; to form a tree, the stems must be continually reduced to one until a trunk is formed.
Propagation:Seeds, cuttings
Availability:Friends, Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Quality nurseries, Specialty providers
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Lime rock, Sand
Soil pH:5-8



Berries eaten by many species of bids and other wildlife.


Larval host for fiddlewood leafroller moth (Epicorsia oedipodalis) (Institute for Regional Conservation).

Nectar plant for butterflies.

Attracts bee pollinators.

Native Habitats:Dry sites. Pinelands, maritime and sub-tropical or tropical hammocks

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


Ethnobotany:The strong and heavy wood of this plant are also the source of its name - it has long been used for musical instruments, including violins, guitars and others.
General Comments:The shiny green leaves, gently fragrant flowers and glossy berries make this a charming plant. Can occasionally be subject to defoliation by the moth larvae, but these are an excellent food source for birds and their nestlings, and the fiddlewood regenerates quickly.