• Simpson Stopper, Myrcianthes fragrans. This is a beautiful native found in hardwood hammocks. The shrub is columnar and can reach heights of 10 feet. The leaves are small, dark green and very attractive. The small flowers are white and somewhat fragrant. The resulting small orange fruit are much sought after by birds. Full sun is best, but it will do well in partial shade.
• Red Berry Stopper, Eugenia confusa. This Florida native is handsome and will attract various species of native birds. The red berry stopper can reach heights of 15 feet with a spread of about 3 to 4 feet. New leaves and fruit are red. Mature leaves are glossy and round, coming to a pronounced point. Full sun is best, but it will do well in partial shade.
• Spanish Stopper, Eugenia foetida. The Spanish stopper has small, light green leaves and will attract native birds. This stopper will reach heights of 15 feet and will grow at a moderate rate. Full sun is best, but it will do well in partial shade.
• Wild Coffee, Psychotria nervosa. This is a native tolerant of shade, which can reach a height and spread of eight feet. The leaves are glossy and deeply grooved and very attractive. The plant is excellent as a screen or as a backdrop to bromeliads or other colorful plants. The flowers are small and white and borne in clusters which result in dark red fruit. Birds are attracted to the fruit and will spread the seeds into mulched areas of your yard.
• Jamaican Caper, Capparis cynophallophora. This is a native that will reach heights of about 10 feet and tends to be columnar. The leaves are extremely glossy and have tiny hairs on the underside that give them a velvet appearance. The flowers are an elegant white or light purple and produce fruit that attracts birds. The plant can be grown in light shade or full sun.
• Thatch Palm, Thrinax radiata. The thatch palm has dark green, palmate leaves with a yellow eye in the center of the frond. The tree produces white fruit that attracts birds. The tree grows quickly and looks best when planted in groups of three. The fast growth rate and dark green foliage make this Florida native a perfect palm to build a landscape around. The palm is sold with a single trunk or with multiple palms in the same pot. Both versions are appealing. The single palm is used as an accent while the multiple palms should be used as a screen. This palm is wider than the silver palm with a trunk of 6 to 8 inches in width. This plant does best in full sun.
Jeff Wasielewski is an outreach specialist at Fairchild, an expert in South Florida horticulture and a professor of horticulture at Miami Dade College. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.