Also Known As
Bahama Eugenia [8]
Land Turtle Bush [7]
Longstalk Guava [8]
Long-Stalk Stopper [8]
Long-Stalked Stopper
Mango Berry [7]
Snaze Berry [7]
Stopper [8]
Sweet Margaret
Trailing Eugenia [8]
Bahama Stopper [8,9]
Wild Guava [9]
Mangroveberry [also in Florida - 9]
Eugenia bahamensis
Eugenia longipes 
Myrtus bahamensis
Myrtus verrucosa 
Psidium littorale var. longipes
Psidium longipes 

Order:   Myrtales
Family:   Myrtaceae
Genus:    Mosiera
Species: longipes

Florida s

Edible Parts
Fruit Caution
Animal Interaction
Insect Bird Butterfly No
Other Uses
Jelly Medicinal Fragrant
Now this is a shrub that you don't see everyday here in Florida. The Mangroveberry, aka Long-Stalked Stopper, is a rare native shrub that is found only in the wilds of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties here in Florida. It is also known as Wild Guava in the Bahamas. It is too rare to ever harvest the edible fruits or other parts for medicine. In fact, it is legally protected as a state-listed threatened species. I have not yet eaten the fruits as I have only seen a few fruiting in pots at one native nursery. Ethnobotanist Daniel Austin speaks highly of the flavor of Mosiera fruits, and he mentions one author, Hedrick, who equated them to cranberries. If you wish to grow it in your own backyard in the warmer parts of Florida, you can find it for sale at a few native plant nurseries. The excellent native plant nursery on Sanibel Island occasionally sells it. Fruits are edible when they turn fully black, not when they are half ripe while reddish. It is used medicinally in the Bahamas, being "used in general soothing teas, to treat colds, diarrhea, stomach aches, and as an aphrodisiac tea for men." The flowers are lightly fragrant and the leaves have an unusual odor when crushed. Wild birds consume the fruits and bees and butterflies nectar at the flowers.  

CAUTION: Never harvest this plant or its fruits from the wild - it is a state-threatened species. Obtain potted specimens from a reputable native plant nursery and grow it in your yard. 
EDIBLE FRUITS: Fruits are edible when they turn fully black, not when they are half ripe while reddish. [5] Daniel Austin in Florida Ethnobotany writes, "Hedrick, 1919, said the fruits of Mosiera have "the flavor of cranberries." I consider them the best of those plants called stoppers." [9] 
MEDICINAL USES: It is used medicinally in the Bahamas, being "used in general soothing teas, to treat colds, diarrhea, stomach aches, and as an aphrodisiac tea for men. The fruits are edible. Either the leaves or the bark is used to treat diseases." [5] 
FRAGRANT FLOWERS AND FOLIAGE: The flowers are delightfully, lightly fragrant. The crushed leaves emit an unusual fragrance.
WILDLIFE: Birds eat the fruits. [3] Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers. [6] Deer resistant. [6]
LANDSCAPE USES: "Groundcover or border plant. This is a low spreading shrub. Shiny foliage." [3] 

NATIVE TO: "South Florida and the West Indies (Bahamas, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico)." [2] Here in Florida, it is only found growing wild in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties [Mainland Monroe and the Florida Keys]. "Throughout the Bahamian Archipelago as well as Florida and Mexico." [5] "Found in the Lesser Antilles in Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Barthelemy, St. Martin." [7] ANDY'S NOTE: I don't believe that it is native to Mexico.
HABITAT: "Disturbed upland, marl prairie, pine rockland, and rockland hammock." [2] "Forests, woodlands, shrublands, as well as in pinelands. It is common along rocky coastlines as well as interior plant communities." [5]
POPULATIONS: The Florida Native Plant Society writes, "34 populations are reported, although many have not been confirmed in over 20 years; about 20 populations are reported in conservation areas." [3] 
PROTECTED STATUS: A state-threatened species here in Florida. "Florida Natural Areas Inventory State Status: Imperiled." [2] FNAI Ranks: G4/S2. [3]
DESCRIPTION: An evergreen low shrub or small tree. [5]
- HEIGHT: 1.5 to 12 feet tall. [3] reported to 15 feet tall in the Bahamas. [5]
- TRUNK: Twisted. [3]
- BARK: "Thin, flaking bark." [3]
- LEAVES: Opposite, simple, entire, oval, nearly round, about one inch long.[3] [5] The leaves have "smooth margins and can be up to six centimeters long.  Young stems and petioles often have a reddish color." [5] Leaves "with reddish, translucent veins and gland dots visible from below." [3] "The leaves have a distinctive odor when crushed." [5]
- FLOWERS: Small, white, showy. Half an inch across. [3] "The flowers occur in groups from one to four, in leaf axils and are fragrant.  The calyx has four unfused sepals.  The corolla has four unfused white petals.  There are numerous stamens." [5] "Four white to pink petals and numerous stamens, solitary on 1 inch long stalks." [3] "Flowers spring and summer." [3] "Lightly fragrant." [6]
- FRUIT: Turns black when ripe. [3] "The fruit is a berry that turns dark red to black with maturity and retains the sepals at its top like a crown." [5] "Round, red turning to black, on long stalks." [3]
SIMILAR SPECIES: The Florida Native Plant Society writes, "Numerous stoppers and other tropical shrubs have opposite, oval leaves. Look for translucent veins on the leaves, and for fruits and flowers on very long stalks." [3] 
- SPACING: 2-4 feet. [6]
- HARDINESS: 30F [USDA zone 10A]. [6]
- LIGHT: "Full sun to light shade." [1]
- SOIL: "Sand, lime rock." [3] "Calcareous (high pH)." [3]
- WATER: "Moderately dry to moderately moist soils." [1] High drought tolerance according to the Florida Native Plant Society. [3]
- SALT TOLERANCE: Low. [1] "Not salt tolerant." [3]
- PROPAGATION: Seed. [3] 

More Details

Flowering Calendar

Flower Color
Fruit Color

Prairies Disturbed Rockland Hammock, Marl Prairie
Conservation Status
Florida Threatened

Plant Form
Woody Evergreen Perennial Shrub
4 feet

Hardiness Zone
10a to 11b
Root Hardiness
Full Sun
6.5 - 7.5

Sources for acquiring

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation's native plant nursery, Sanibel Island, FL. 


[1] Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation's native plant nursery, Sanibel Island, FL. 
[2] Regional Conservation 
[3] [Florida Native Plant Society] 
[5] [Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, Eleuthera, Bahamas] 
[6] Dave's Garden  
[7] Plants of the Eastern Caribbean [] 
[8] Elsevier's Dictionary of Trees: Volume 1: North America, by Grandtner 
[9] Florida Ethnobotany, by Austin 
Last Updated: October 28, 2017

Related Plants in Database

Also in Myrtaceae
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa