Spanish Stopper

Common Names Box-Leaf Eugenia
Common Use Hedge, Shrub, Screen
Scientific Name Eugenia foetida
Cold Hardiness Not cold hardy, fine for Miami
Light Needs Full sun or partial shade
Water Needs Very drought tolerant
Leaves Green
Evergreen/Decidiuous Evergreen
Mature Height
14-22 feet
Growth Rate
Salt Tolerance

Spanish Stopper is a petite Florida native that works equally well as an accent or specimen tree in the Miami home landscape.

A slender, multi-trunked evergreen, Spanish Stopper usually tops out at around 20 feet tall. The gray to brown bark peels away in strips, revealing the reddish-orange new growth below. The leaves are small, bright green ovals. In warm Southern Florida climates the Spanish Stopper blooms all year, producing a profusion of small, creamy white flowers that open into striking, star-like sprays that are sweetly scented and popular with butterflies. Small red berries that turn black as they ripen follow the flowers.

In the wild, Spanish Stopper grows beneath the canopy of taller trees. It doesn’t mind light or broken shade, and will also do well in sunny locations. Spanish Stopper is extremely hardy and grows happily in rocky, clay or sandy soils, although it prefers fertile soils with some organic content. Drought resistant and salt tolerant, Spanish Stopper needs little routine maintenance.

Spanish Stopper can be allowed spread into a dense shrub with a rounded crown or limbed into a single-trunked tree. They require little soil space and can be planted close together to create a flowering green fence or privacy screen. Its short and narrow profile makes Spanish Stopper ideal for settings that are too small to accommodate larger trees. Use it to shade a patio or porch, as an accent plant in beds or borders, or in rows to mark property lines without installing a fence.