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Clusia rosea 'Queen' (Pitch Apple, Autograph Tree)

Clusia rosea 'Queen' (Pitch Apple, Autograph Tree)


Regular price $39.00 NZD
Regular price Sale price $39.00 NZD
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Clusia rosea, the Autograph Tree, Copey, Cupey, Balsam Apple, Pitch Apple, and Scotch Attorney, is a tropical and sub-tropical flowering plant species in the family Clusiaceae.

Clusia rosea is a tree native to the Caribbean, including the Bahamas, Hispaniola, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Florida. It is a hemiepiphyte; that is, it grows as an epiphyte on rocks or other trees at the start of its life and behaving like a strangler fig as it gets larger. Like a strangler fig, it successfully competes for light by outgrowing, overtopping and "strangling" its host tree with its many aerial roots.

The flowers are large and waxy similar to its cousin the Mangosteen. The petals are pink to white. The thin upper leaf tissue registers 'writing' giving it the common name "autograph tree". The tree produces a fleshy, light green toxic fruit; once the fruit splits, the seeds are consumed by birds and other wildlife. The fruits when split open looks like a dried flower. Clusia species are normally dioecious, but in C. rosea, there are pistillate (female) individuals only, and seeds are formed through agamospermy.

Clusia rosea has become a great threat to Sri Lanka, Hawaii, and many other tropical countries as an invasive plant. In NZ, the selection 'Queen' is grown as an indoor plant for its thick, succulent-like foliage.

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