Gopher apple is a Florida native hardy evergreen woody groundcover that grows to only 3 to 12 inches tall. If you like the taste of pink bubble gum, you’ll like gopher apples - although some say they are tasteless. Nearly every woodland creature likes them as well, especially tortoises and are also edible to humans. Often seen on dunes and roadside scrub habitats, mature plants will spread over several square yards and form a thick groundcover. It spreads and forms colonies by way of underground rhizomes. Gopher apple is in the Chrysobalanaceae family. The fruit is whitish to brown in color and has one large seed about an inch long. It is a tough, wiry plant that likes full sun and blooms white flowers that attract pollinators in the summer and has been known to bloom year-round. It spreads well even in poor soil but it is nearly impossible to transplant. It can help stabilize dry, sandy soils. It is drought tolerant and fire-adapted.
Gopher apple has been confused with runner oak, which has a similar growth habit and is found in similar habitats.