What is the plant
Citharexylum spinosum is a species of flowering plant in the family Verbenaceae that is native to southern Florida in the United States, the Caribbean, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela. Common names include Florida fiddlewood and spiny fiddlewood.
It is a tree that reaches a height of up to 15 m (49 ft). The ovate to elliptic leaves are 4–20 cm (1.6–7.9 in) long and have orange petioles. Small white flowers are produced throughout the year on hanging axillary and terminal racemes and panicles 20–40 cm (7.9–15.7 in) in length. Habitat: Ridge forests, especially on the coastal plain of the Guyanas. Drier habitats, generally at elevations below 500 metres. Coastal areas, limestone hills, dry mountains and moist foothills, at elevations up to 900 metres.A plant of the tropics to the subtropics of the Bahamas. It can endure wide fluctuations in temperature in the northern reaches of its range with a summer mean around 27.5°c, a winter mean of 16°c and occasional light frosts. It is found in areas where the mean annual rainfall is within the range 1,000 - 2,000mm, which can be evenly distributed, or there can be a short dry season of 2 - 3 months.
Grows best in a sunny position. Also succeeds in dappled shade. Prefers a well-drained but moisture-retentive, humus-rich, fertile soil. The plant is tolerant of a wide range of soils from clay to gravelly and sandy, dry soils, and also adapts to a wide range of soil. It is sometimes found on somewhat poorly drained sites. The plant is moderately tolerant of salt-laden winds.
Often grown as an ornamental plant, it has escaped from cultivation in some areas and established itself. The main way of the plant spreading is by means of bird-sown seeds.
Plants can flower and produce fruit all year round.
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