Schaefferia frutescens

Schaefferia frustescens Jacq.

Common Names: Florida Boxwood, Boxwood, Yellow Wood

Family: Celestraceae

Habit: Schaefferia frustescens grows as a large shrub to small tree up to 10 m in height with a trunk to 30 cm in diameter. The bark is grey with shallow fissures.  Young stems have ridges creating an angled appearance. The leaves are arranged alternately, up 6 cm in length, are lanceolate, with an entire leaf margin and an acute leaf apex. The leaves are yellowish green at maturity. There are two grey stipules at the petiole base.

Schaefferia frustescens is dioecious. The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic flowers occur in clusters along the stem and from leaf axils.  The calyx has 4 greenish unfused sepals.  The corolla has 4 whitish unfused petals.  The staminate flowers have 4 stamens. The carpellate flowers have no stamens and the ovary is superior with 2 locules.  The fruit is a 2-seeded berry that is orange/red at maturity.

Habitat: Schaefferia frustescens grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Woodland/Shrublands (scrublands).

Distribution: Schaefferia frustescens is found throughout the Lucayan Archipelago, Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and the northern areas of South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Schaefferia frustescens is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

Schaefferia frustescens is used in the horticultural industry as a shrub for hedges. The wood has been used by carvers because of its distinctive yellow coloring and tight grain.