Fiddlewood is a pretty shrub or small tree native to the West Indies but is now grown as an ornamental tree all over the world. This tree is semi-deciduous and keeps some of its foliage all year and will drop some leaves as well. Although fiddlewood favours wet habitats, it has also been found in dry habitats, where it adapts by dropping its leaves during the dry season.
Its large, oval, glossy leaves are green in spring to summer, changing to shades of yellow, orange and gold for the months from autumn to winter. Citharexylum spinosum is also characterised with smooth quadrangular twigs. The bark is light brown and becomes fissured with maturity. The tiny white flowers produced from October to February are fragranced attracting bees, butterflies and humming birds to the garden. The fruit is a drupe, oblong, 6-10 mm long, initially yellow orange, but black when mature.
When used for hedging, fiddlewood requires regular pruning to keep the tree in good shape. It is also an excellent container plant for the patio. The roots of this tree are very aggressive hence it should be planted far away from buildings. It is also cultivated as a street tree. Fiddlewood can withstand low temperatures of up to -5˚C.