She grows quickly. If you want to keep her at her current size, just give her a trim back once a year.

Quick facts

Botanical name

Clusia rosea

Nickname

Clusia princess; autograph tree; Copey; balsam apple; pitch apple; Scotch attorney

Air purifying

Yes

Plant height (including pot)

20-30cm

Pet/child safe

Mildly toxic if eaten

Nursery pot size

12cm

About clusia princess

Left to its own devices, clusia princess, or clusia rosea, can reach heights of 6 metres. In places like the Bahamas, Cuba and Puerto Rico, you’d see it growing happily outside.

Its method of growing in the wild is very unusual and a tiny bit gruesome. It’s a hemiepiphyte, which means it starts its life growing on another tree. As it increases in size, it sends out more and more roots, which gradually wrap around its host and strangle it. Eventually it roots itself in the ground, standing over the corpse of its host tree.

It won’t strangle anybody as an indoor tree. It’s low-key and low-effort. It copes with most conditions, grows quickly and looks simple and sculptural. It will also love you if you give it a feed with liquid fertiliser once a month in spring and summer.

Did you know?

Its nickname is autograph tree because it’s leaves are so thick it’s said you could carve your name in them.

Need a pot? Fits great in: