Sp. Pl. 1: 470. 1753.

Common names: Stopper
Etymology: For François-Eugène, Prince of Savoy, 1663–1736, Austrian General
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 10.

Shrubs or small trees, glabrous or pubescent, young growth glabrous or thinly to densely vested, hairs simple or dibrachiate. Leaves opposite; blade papery to leathery, venation brochidodromous, glands conspicuous to obscure on either or both surfaces. Inflorescences 1–8-flowered, axillary, racemes elongate or appearing fasciculate, or flowers solitary; bracteoles 2, caducous or persistent, distinct or connate basally, forming involucre beneath hypanthium. Flowers 4-merous, pedicellate; hypanthium obconic, campanulate, or bowl-shaped, not prolonged beyond summit of ovary; calyx lobes often persistent in fruit, in 2 opposing equal or markedly unequal pairs; petals white, conspicuous; stamens [20–]25–70[–600]; ovary 2-locular; ovules 12–25 per locule. Fruits berries, red, purple, black, or purplish black, globose, oblate, or obovoid, with fleshy pericarp. Seeds 1(or 2), subglobose to reniform; seed coat membranous or leathery; embryo a solid globose or reniform mass, mainly of cotyledonary tissue.


Florida, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, se Asia, Africa.


Species ca. 1000 (5 in the flora).

Eugenia is one of the largest genera of flowering plants; within the heart of its range, a significant number of species remain undescribed. The genus is characterized by the basically racemose inflorescences and flowers with four calyx lobes, four petals, 2-loculed ovaries with numerous ovules and an embryo with the cotyledons, radicle, and plumule fused into an undifferentiated mass. There is considerable overlap of characteristics among species, and often taxa can be differentiated only by the degree and type of vestiture or the persistence and degree of fusion of the bracteoles.

Eugenia is a common component of mesic and wet forests at all elevations in the New World tropics, where the vast majority of its species are found. About a dozen species are native to the Old World in tropical Africa and southeast Asia. Only four species range as far north as southern Florida, where they are restricted for the most part to coastal hammocks where winter temperatures are moderated by proximity to the ocean. One introduced species, E. uniflora, has naturalized locally in Florida.

The exceptionally hard wood of many species of Eugenia has been used for structural components in building, as well as for tools and cabinetry. The common name, stopper, apparently derived from the use of the fruit as a treatment for diarrhea (D. F. Austin 2004).

Although relatively safe in other parts of their range, all native species of Eugenia should be considered threatened in Florida due to habitat destruction.

Selected References



1 Shrubs or trees mostly puberulent, hairs erect or recurved; leaf blades elliptic or obovate. Eugenia foetida
1 Shrubs or trees glabrous, glabrate, or pubescence limited to ciliate margins of bracts, bracteoles, and calyx lobes; leaf blades ovate to elliptic. > 2
2 Petioles 1–3 mm; leaf blades ovate, papery; hypanthia ribbed; berries costate, deep bright red. Eugenia uniflora
2 Petioles 3–9 mm; leaf blades ovate to elliptic, leathery; hypanthia not ribbed; berries not costate, bright or dark red, purple, or purplish black. > 3
3 Petioles flattened or splayed; pedicels 1–3 mm; floral discs 0.7–1 mm diam.; berries purplish black. Eugenia axillaris
3 Petioles channeled; pedicels 6–20(–30) mm; floral discs 2–3 mm diam.; berries bright or dark red or purple. > 4
4 Leaves with caudate-acuminate apex; berries bright red, 6–9 mm diam. Eugenia confusa
4 Leaves with bluntly acute or acuminate apex; berries dark red or purple, 4–7 mm diam. Eugenia rhombea
... more about "Eugenia"
Fred R. Barrie +
Linnaeus +
Stopper +
Florida +, Mexico +, West Indies +, Central America +, South America +, se Asia +  and Africa. +
For François-Eugène, Prince of Savoy, 1663–1736, Austrian General +
Eugenia +
Myrtaceae +