Gopher Apple, Ground Oak

Licania michauxii

Family: Chrysobalanaceae
Genus: Licania (lik-AY-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: michauxii (miss-SHOW-ee-eye) (Info)




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

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



Bloom Color:

Pale Green

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


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

Bartow, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Lake Worth, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Oviedo, Florida

Panama City Beach, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 3, 2010, bdavtab7 from Wimauma, FL wrote:

The fruit has a *very* odd, subtle flavor: syrupy and creosote-y at the same time. Worth trying, but maybe not worth repeating....


On Dec 5, 2006, koozie76 from Cape Coral, FL wrote:

I have heard so many good things about this plant but I have about seven of them and for at least four or five months they have done nothing. Still alive but no new leaves or any indication of spreading. I did hear that they were slow to get established, maybe its the wrong time of year for their growth?


On Apr 18, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Gopher Apple is a member of the family Chrysobalanaceae, the same family as the Cocoplum (Chyrosobalanus icaco). It resembles a miniature oak that is a groundcover that spreads by seed.

Gopher Apple is native to dry sandy habitats, xeric sites, oak hammocks, sandhills, longleaf pine/turkey oak sandhills, sandy pine flatwoods, scrub, barrens, dunes and similar habitats in the southeastern United States from South Carolina southward throughout much of Georgia and throughout Florida (including the Keys), westward into Louisiana.

This is a great native drought-tolerant groundcover that spreads rapidly and is regenerated (and dispersed to grow new Gopher Apples) by fire, which is frequent in many of the dry, sandy habitats (such as the sandhills) it is found in. Fi... read more


On Jun 18, 2004, TamiMcNally from Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Provides food for gopher tortoise.