Left to its own devices, 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 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.
Did you know?
Its nickname is Autograph tree because its leaves are so thick it’s said you could carve your name in them.
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