Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Dwarf Holly
Malpighia coccigera

Family: Malpighiaceae
Genus: Malpighia (mal-PEE-gee-uh) (Info)
Species: coccigera

One vendor has this plant for sale.

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
By serpentine layering

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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Thumbnail #1 of Malpighia coccigera by nanciromero

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2 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral RosemaryK On Nov 16, 2014, RosemaryK from Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Also known as Singapore Holly. I am growing it indoors in the same medium as citrus, but it does not require as much sun.

Positive rkwright85 On Sep 28, 2013, rkwright85 from Horton, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Nice house plant and not very demanding. Likes some sun but can grow under artificial lights (14-16 hours). Excellent bonsai and easy to propagate. I bought this at Hidden Lake Gardens and when I got home I discovered it had a pretty severe mealy bug problem. I was able to treat it and have not had a problem since. I'm not sure if this is a common problem but probably not a bad idea to keep an eye out for it.

Positive MTVineman On Jul 3, 2012, MTVineman from Helena, MT (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a great little ( or maybe big in some cases ) plant and I've come to really like it even though I didn't really order it or buy it per se. This was an extra surprise plant I received from the guys at Glasshouse Works. They are always adding a couple surprises to my orders and they seem to know exactly what types of plants I like. This one has turned out to be a favourite now along with a Hoya fungii they also sent me as a surprise. This Malpighia looks very much like a holly of some type but it's not even closely related to the Ilex hollies. This plant grows in the same area as it's sister, the Barbados Cherry or Acerola ( Malpighia glabra, I believe ). It makes quite a lovely indoor/outdoor plant for those of us in the northern climes. It tunrs into a nice lower growing shrub with it's beautiful holly-like leaves and clusters of pinkish white flowers periodically. The flowers will create edible berries much like Barbados Cherries if they are pollinated. I keep mine inside in winter of course and it goes outside in the spring when it warms up and stays out there until late fall or whenever it starts to get too cold at night for it outside. The leaves are so glossy and pretty and the flowers and fruit are an added bonus if you self pollinate. I have mine in a smaller clay pot right now as it is still somewhat small but growing fast! It enjoys some full sun but not too much. Water it when the top of the soil seems dried out and fertilize maybe twice a year during the growing season. This plant will become an enduring friend and one you will appreciate very much. Especially if you get some of the fruit. Yum!

Neutral MotherNature4 On Aug 27, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a very attractive plant, but it isn't a holly (Ilex) at all. It is very tender and must be protected from the cold in central Florida. It prefers a fertile soil and light shade.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 26, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

A low growing small holly like plant with shiny toothed leaves and sporadic pinkish/white flowers throughout the year. This plant makes a beautiful bonsai and a good houseplant.


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

Bartow, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida

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