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Beach-creeper, Coughbush
Ernodea littoralis

Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Ernodea (err-no-dee-a) (Info)
Species: littoralis (lit-tor-AY-liss) (Info)



Tropicals and Tender Perennials


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year




Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

By serpentine layering

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 2, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant is native to coastal dunes, beaches, dry coastal scrub, coastal sandy sites, coastal grasslands and similar sites.

It is found in Florida in central and southern coastal areas of the state from Volusia County on the east coast and from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties on the west coast south through the Keys and into the Bahamas, Caribbean, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It is common.

It is a drought-tolerant perennial spreading, mat-forming groundcover. It is highly salt-tolerant. This makes it highly useful for coastal landscaping, native plant gardens, wildlife gardens and xeriscaping.

The flowers are very small and tiny and are white to pinkish white with a red underneath stalk.


On Jul 1, 2005, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant forms dense mats that aid against beach erosion. It prefers the well drained sands of the dunes.

It forms a yellow, oval drupe. The seed may be planted for propagation.