Christmas Berry

I first noticed Christmas Berry as a small shrubby plant on the old Stretch and was inquisitive to know what it was because I knew that this plant had to be taking wave action on a daily basis – yet year after year it survived until it suddenly disappeared with the construction of the new road.  I still wonder if Monroe County relocated this plant and gave it a good home or if it was simply thrown away?


BOTANICAL NAME Lycium carolinianum
HEIGHT Up to 6 feet tall
ZONES Florida & the Caribbean
NATIVE  10 to 11
SALT TOLERANCE Salt & Drought Tolerant

When I first purchased Villa Maria there were 2 shrubs on the property.  One was an old Christmas Berry and the other one was an ancint Bay Cedar.  Both are still here.

Over the years I have acquired more Christmas Berry because I can count on them to take whatever weather conditions or salt spray is thrown at them.

Christmas Berry is not the prettiest plant in the  Keys and often  when it looks like just sticks coming out of the ground you want to yank it out – but just be patient and eventually the tiny leaves will appear followed by tiny flowers and eventually beautiful red and poisonous berries.

I have never lost a Christmas Berry plant.   They are really hardy and great wherever you experience waves or heavy salt spray.