Commonly known as the Dwarf Clusia, this tropical evergreen shrub is native to Brazil, Paraguay, and parts of Central America.
Clusia fluminensis is an attractive and versatile, native American plant. It can be fashioned into both a large or small, tightly-rounded shrub or bonsai. It has a mature height of 5-10 ft, with 2-5 ft mature width, with full sun to semi-shade requirements. The small, leathery leaves are pear-shaped and may be tinted red or purple when young. In the summer months, the plant produces clusters of light pink, white, or off-white fragrant flowers.
It is a tough plant that is salt-tolerant and can tolerate short periods of time in temperatures as low as 30F, growing USDA Zone 9-11. It requires moderate amounts of water and should be fertilized every four to six weeks to promote best growth. Pruning is not required, but will help maintain the desired size and shape of the shrub.
Clusia fluminensis is considered a low-maintenance shrub, perfect for growing in seaside settings, or wherever a tough, salt tolerant shrub is needed. When planting in cold regions, it is best to use a container-grown shrub, and ensure it is planted in a location that receives at least some winter sun and is protected from drying winds. A layer of mulch can be used in winter to help moderate the temperature of the soil. During dry spells, container-grown plants should be watered deeper and more frequently.