Red stopper is a florida native small tree or shrub, an understory plant of hammocks, which grows to 15 - 20 feet. It has a spreading, oval crown of moderate density, and smooth, brown to gray mottled bark. The unusual common name apparently comes from the use of a leaf tea taken to stop diarrhea. Leaves are green, opposite, simple, entire, diamond-shaped (rhombic) and 1 - 2 inches long. Young leaves are reddish; mature leaves have a faint yellow edge. Flowers are borne in dense, axillary clusters, the blooms are minute, white with numerous spreading stamens, inconspicuous. Fruits are round, fleshy, edible berries, red maturing to black, less than 1/2 inch in diameter. They attract birds and other animals. Tiny seeds are used for propagation. Although small in dimensions, the wood is used in cabinetry. Red stopper grows well in sandy, clayey or salty soils, if well drained. It is easily pruned, to form a sngle or multi-stemmed tree or shrub. This plant has no serious pest or disease problems. In landscaping, red stopper, with its attractive bark, leaves and colorful fruits, has applications to provide shade on a deck or patio, as a median or parking lot screen, and in the garden as a specimen or accent planting. Wild red stopper is endangered in florida.