Citharexylum caudatum – Juniper Berry

Citharexylum caudatum - Juniper Berry, Fiddlewood (flowers)

Citharexylum caudatum - Juniper Berry, Fiddlewood (fruit)

Citharexylum caudatum - Juniper Berry, Fiddlewood

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Citharexylum caudatum

Common Names: Juniper Berry, Fiddlewood

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial, Evergreen

Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub

Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized ornamental landscaping plant is native to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and Colombia.

Flower Color: White

Height: Up to 65 feet (20 m) tall, but usually much less

Description: The flowers are in long, slender racemes. The individual flowers are small, white, bell-shaped, and have 5 rounded lobes. The flowers are followed by drooping, tail-like clusters of bright orange maturing to black fruits. The leaves have rounded tips and are green, glossy above, dull below, leathery, hairless, opposite, and oblong, elliptic-oblanceolate, or egg-shaped.

Here in Hawaii, Juniper Berry is a thicket-forming weed in wet to mesic (moderately wet) areas. The seeds are spread by birds.

The similar Spiny Fiddlewood (Citharexylum spinosum) has point-tipped leaves, while Sauco Macho (Citharexylum gentryi) has hairy leaves.

Special Characteristics

Fragrant – The flowers are lightly fragrant and attract bees.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Verbenaceae – Verbena family
Genus: Citharexylum L. – fiddlewood
Species: Citharexylum caudatum L. – juniper berry

More About This Plant

Hawaii County Distribution Map