Jacquina pungens, or Cudjoewood, is an evergreen shrub native to Mexico that reaches about 12 feet (3 m) in height with about an 8 foot (2 m) spread. The glossy green leaves are lanceolate, alternate to whorled, and spine tipped. They will reach up to 2½ inches (6.5 cm) long by half as wide. Jacquinas are grown as landscape plants in Florida zone 10. Many of the species yield a fish poison, so all species should be considered poisonous.
Blooming Time: In late spring to early summer, the orange red flowers are displayed in terminal panicles. Individual flowers are up to ½ inch (1 cm) across and are quite showy against the dark green foliage.
Culture: Jacquina pungens need full sun to partial shade with a rich, well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix that consists of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. Plants are watered thoroughly and allowed to dry slightly before watering again. They are fertilized every other week during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Their size is easily controlled by container size and with selective pruning. During the winter months, water should be restricted, but pay close attention not to let them dry completely for very long. Since flowers come on new growth it is best to prune during the winter.
Propagation: Jacquina pungens are propagated by cuttings in spring and by seed.
Jacquina pungens was featured as Plant of the Week May 21-27, 2004.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.