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Plants of the UNF Campus

Serissa foetida - Serissa
Family Rubiaceae


One species is native to Asia. It is a small shrub to about two to three feet tall with tiny dark green leaves, sometimes variegated. It has attractive flowers throughout the growing season that may be white or pink, single or double. It is evergreen south of Jacksonville but may be deciduous during north Florida’s winters. Because of its small size, it is a popular bonsai subject. The specific epithet in the scientific name, “foetida,” refers to the unpleasant smell of bruised leaves and stems.


See this plant between buildings 39 and 50.


Small shrub to two or three feet tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: full sun to part shade

Water: well-drained soil, tolerates drought

Soil: adaptable

Serissa is easy to grow in northeast Florida. It grows well in a sunny, well-drained site.