Pemphis acidula, commonly known as Shrubby Coral Pemphis, is an evergreen shrub or small, densely branching tree, usually growing up to 20 feet (6 m) tall, occasionally up to 36 feet (11 m). The bole is typically gnarled and much-branched. Sometimes the plant is a dwarf creeping shrublet only 6 inches (15 cm) tall.
Shrubby Coral Pemphis is found in coastal locations in the tropical areas of the Indo-Pacific. It is one of the types of shrubs growing in sandy and calcareous soils of the littoral zones of the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean. It is also found in mangroves.
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as food, medicine, and a source of timber. The wood is of very good quality, but because of its small size and the poor form of the bole, and its limited supply, the wood is only used on a small and local scale.
Growing Conditions and General Care
The plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental. There is a significant trade in seeds and live plants, especially in Asia, for growing it as a bonsai.
Shrubby Coral Pemphis grows on various soil, including fine coastal sand, coastal limestone rock, cliffs, coral conglomerate, limestone bedrock outcrops of atolls, etc. It can grow in places where seawater wet its roots regularly during the high tide.
It is propagated by seeds, wildlings, and root suckers. Seeds are not directly sown in the field. Nursery-raised seedlings are used for outplanting. Their brown color can easily identify mature fruits, and each fruit contains 20 to 30 tiny seeds, which can be collected by gently pressing the matured fruits. Collected seeds should be subjected to a floating test, and seeds that float are viable. Seeds may be kept soaked for one to two days before planting in containers. Nursery-raised seedlings 15 to 20 cm can be used for outplanting. Propagation by wildlings is relatively less successful compared to nursery-raised seedlings. It can also be propagated by planting straight stems with roots in suitable places. It needs to be pruned to get straight poles.
- Back to genus Pemphis
- Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus