In The Garden: Myrsine can serve as native natural buffer
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. 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 myrsine as a background plant and it also blends well with other Florida native plant species. The 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, myrsine may not be plant 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 the native plant, as well as other natives, is that it requires less irrigation to maintain it once established. As a result, myrsine will require very little maintenance other than selective pruning to the desired shape and height. 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, 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.
In The Garden is a joint effort by all at the local garden center, at 3889 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel. For more information, contact 239-395-5859 or visit www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden.