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Geiger Tree

Geiger Tree.jpg
JEROME JACKSON
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The Geiger Tree is a rarely more than 20-foot tall, evergreen tree with dense large oval leaves, and clusters of orange flowers that give rise to clusters of white, plum-sized fruit. Known from the Florida Keys since the early 1800s – and possibly a native of south Florida, the Geiger Tree is available for use as an ornamental, but its sale is regulated in Florida because it is considered troubled species. The Geiger Tree is also host to an unusual beetle – The Geiger Tree Tortoise Beetle – which regularly consumes the tree’s leaves – but doesn’t kill the tree or seriously disfigure it -- and doesn’t harm other plants. It’s worth looking for the adult beetle – it is iridescent green and is indeed shaped like a tortoise. It is also probably a troubled species because of its limited diet – and one well worth enjoying.