Synonym(s): Schoepfia chrysophylloides
An occasional evergreen shrub or small tree of tropical hammocks from Volusia County south on the eastern coast of Florida and in across the peninsula south of Lake Okeechobee and more frequently in the Keys. Also ranges through the West Indies.
This plant grows up to 10m (33 ft.) tall with crooked branches and can often be distinguished by the zig-zag branchlets and whitish twigs. The alternate leaves are elliptic to ovate, simple and often have wavy edges. The leaves are 3-7.5cm (1-1/8 to 3 in.) long and 2-5cm (3/4 to 2 in.) wide and give off a strong odor when crushed. The small sweet-scented flowers are red to orange and appear in the winter, mostly from October through March. Fruit is a red ovoid drupe 10-12mm (less than 1/2 in.) long.
Both this genus and the family are named in honor of Johann David Schoepff (1752-1800), a German botanist, zoologist & physician. Schoeff served as chief surgeon for a regiment of Hessian troops during the American Revolutionary war. After the war he spent two years in scientific exploration of the United States, British East Florida and the Bahamas.
The insect on one of the images is a stink bug - Vulsirea nigrorubra - photographed in Cuba on this plant.
Schoepfia schreberi is a member of the Schoepfiaceae - Whitewood family.
Date record last modified: Nov 18, 2021