Spanish Stopper

Eugenia foetida
Common Names: Spanish Stopper, Black Wattle, Stopper Bush, Box leaf Stopper, Gurgeon Stopper

Family: Myrtaceae

Habit: Eugenia foetida grows as a large shrub to small tree up to 7 meters in height with a trunk to 30 cm in diameter. The leaves are arranged oppositely, to 5 cm in length, obovate to oblanceolate, with a rounded or blunt leaf apex and an entire margin. The abaxial surface has small black dots. The leaves, when crushed, have a slightly unpleasant odor.

The actinomorphic flowers are arranged in short terminal or axillary racemes. The calyx has 4 green unfused sepals. The corolla has 4 white, unfused petals. There are numerous white stamens. The ovary is inferior with 2 locules and numerous seeds. The fruit is a berry that turns orange-yellow to brownish-black at maturity.

Habitat: Eugenia foetida grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Forest/Shrublands (coppice and scrublands).

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Eugenia foetida occurs on all island groups in the Bahamian Archipelago, Florida and the Caribbean region as well as Mexico south through Central America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Eugenia foetida is not used medicinally in the Bahamas.

The species is part of the horticultural industry and is great for attracting birds.