Monday, July 23, 2012

White Indigo Berry Bush

     This is the first time our white indigo berry bush actually had, what I like to call "a full-bloom regalia", which was back in May.  Yes, yes...I contradictory...white indigo (blue), huh, que es esto???  Well, when the berry matures the outside is snow white while the inside is dark as night.  The Native American Indians used to use this indigenous berry as an ink.  Not many folks have white indigo berry bushes in their landscapes and to top it off I have never seen them bloom like this...completely covered in the most super intense sweet smelling tiny white flowers.  Incredible how you could smell the bush from 20ft away!  It also hummed with bees all over it.

     The white indigo berry bush, randia aculeata, is a native to the Caribbean Islands, Florida, Mexico, South and Central America.  It's a slow growing, drought & hurricane tolerant evergreen that is a great privacy plant for residential landscaping.  It grows anywhere between 6 to 12 ft high.  The birds love to eat the berries as well as nest in the thicket of the bush.  Butterflies, moths & bees love the nectar from the blossoms and according to Green Deane, it's one of only a few white berries that are edible though not very tasty.  It's also used as a Christmas tree throughout Mexico and the Virgin Islands.

     Here are a few pictures of our bush in bloom, I'm guessing it's about 10ft high right now.
Our white indigo berry bush in bloom
It was very difficult to get a good photograph of it since it was so bright out with the white flowers.
I captured a honeybee in this photo :)
This photo shows you how big it's grown covered in white flowers dropping like snow.
This is what our white indigo berry bush looks like now in mid July.
Where there once were white sweet smelling tiny flowers, now there are gnarly looking brown leftovers.
Our white indigo berry bush that I'm looking at it, it's probably taller than my previous estimate of 10 ft high, the wood fence is 6 ft high...where's my tape!



  1. Finding beauty in natives is fabulous. What kind of birds and insects does this shrub attract?

  2. Hi Mary,
    So far I have seen bees, sphinx moths & swallowtail butterflies love the super sweet smelling flowers. The mockingbirds, blue-jays & orioles seem to like eating the berries. It's so amazing how planting natives can attract a plethora of wildlife! What kind of natives are in your neck of the woods?

    Best wishes,

  3. myrna in West Palm BeachJanuary 28, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Where in Florida are you and How old is this plant?

    1. Hi Myrna, this is in Pompano Beach, zone 10b, and I believe I planted it around 2005-2006 though it's 10 years old for sure. :) Hope that helps and thanks for asking!

      Happy Gardening & Best wishes,