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Autograph Tree, Clusia rosea

Go to - Landscape Trees
Landscape Shrubs

Family - Clusiaceae

Native to South Florida, also known as Pitch Apple, Scotch Attorney, Balsam Apple and Monkey Apple.

A medium sized landscape tree that matures with a short, stocky trunk, this tree is noted for its thick, seven to twelve inch long leathery leaves that can be autographed, preserving a name or message until the leaf is shed. The black material inside of the mature fruit was once used to seal and waterproof boats, hence the common name Pitch Apple.

Although the Pitch apple can grow to over 50 feet tall in its natural habitat, in Florida landscapes 30 feet with an equal spread is average.

U.S.D.A. zones - 10, 11.

Autograph tree is grown in South Florida and the Florida Keys, and is generally accepted to be of native origin. There is a variety available with yellow and green leaves.

The 3 inch pink and white flowers in summer open at night and remain open through the early morning hours, longer on cloudy days.

C. rosea is used as screen planting, making good use of its low branching, spreading habit of growth. Can be used as a small to medium sized specimen tree, having good salt tolerance this is a good tree for seaside plantings, drought tolerant once established although best growth is achieved with moist soil. Full sun to partial or high shade, not fussy about soil pH or composition.

The fruit and seeds of the Autograph tree are poisonous to humans.

Pitch Apple tree trunk

Pitch Apple flower

Pitch Apple fruit

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