Eugenia axillaris

Eugenia axillaris (SW.) Willd.

Common Names: White Stopper, Wattle, Stopper Bush (Eugenia axillaris), Stopper

Family: Myrtaceae

Habit: Eugenia axillaris grows as a large shrub to small tree up to 9 meters in height with a trunk to 30 cm in diameter.  The leaves are arranged oppositely, to 8 cm in length, ovate to elliptic with an acuminate leaf apex and entire leaf margin. The petioles are a red color as well as are the young developing leaves.  The leaves have very faint pellucid-punctate dots and will release a menthol type odor when crushed.

The complete, prefect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in short racemes in the axils of leaves.  The calyx has 4 green unfused sepals.  The corolla has 4 white unfused petals.  There are numerous stamens.  The ovary is inferior with 2 locules and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a berry that turns reddish black at maturity.

Habitat: Eugenia axillaris grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Forest/Woodlands/Shrublands/Dwarf Shrublands (coppice- all types).

Distribution: Eugenia axillaris occurs on all island groups in the Lucayan an Archipelago as well as Florida, the Caribbean region and Mexico south to South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Eugenia axillaris is used in the Lucayan Archipelago to treat gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea), respiratory issues, and pain, as well as general strengthening teas for men and a bathing solution for women.

The fruits are sweet and edible when ripe.

Eugenia axillaris is part of the horticultural industry and is great for attracting birds.