Small leaf clusia is an attractive plant as a small tree with a single trunk or more commonly grown as a low-branching, dense hedge. As a tree, it has an irregular but rounded crown and red peeling bark. The evergreen leaves are small, thick, glossy, waxy, leathery, bright green in color and somewhat paddle-shaped, resembling small southern magnolia tree leaves. The leaves contain a white latex which is a skin irritant and toxic if ingested. It is possible to write on the leaves by scratching with a fingernail into the waxy surface. In cultivation, the plant rarely flowers. It can be propagated with soft wood cuttings and by seed. Seeds should also be handled with gloves. In tree form, this clusia is a specimen or accent plant. As a hedge, it is ideal as it is hardy once established, tolerates poor rocky soils, and is drought and salt tolerant as well as pest resistant. Because of its slow growth rate, it is easily maintained and provides a dense, handsome virtually-impenetrable privacy barrier, often placed along a property boundary. A dwarf exists, clusia guttifera 'nana', suitable for training as a charming bonsai plant.