“Perfect” is hard to define for most of us; however, the Jamaican caper has earned the reputation of a being the perfect hedge for Southwest Florida landscapes. From its glossy evergreen- and bronze-colored leaves to showy, two-inch orchid-like flowers, Jamaican caper delights its owners year round.
Jamaican caper is only found in Florida or other tropical areas outside the US. The thick pyramidal shape of this salt- and drought-tolerant plant makes it a perfect tall hedge choice (up to 30 feet) or you can trim it to four-to-six feet to screen out unsightly views. It performs best in soils with good drainage. If you prefer a tree, simply remove the lower branches.
A cousin to the edible caper plant, Jamaican caper serves as a larvae host for Florida white butterfly and produces flowers April through June that only last for 24 hours. They open in the evening and produce a sweet honey fragrance. It loves full or part sun in USDA zones 9b-11 and can self-seed since it’s one of the few plants with both female and male parts.
Expect your Jamaican caper to be visited frequently by honey bees, cardinals, blue jays and mockingbirds. Don’t fret about typical Florida pests; they don’t seem to bother with it too much. Who knew this little-known plant was so useful for so many? Contact your local landscape design professional at 941.488.8897 or visit us at ArtisTree to determine if Jamaican caper defines “perfection” for your landscape.