Pitch Apple Bonsai Tree, scientific name Clusia rose, is native to tropical areas of America. It is a very popular ornamental plant all over the world.
If you carve your name onto the surface of a leaf, the mark will remain until the leaf is shed, hence one of the common names Autograph Tree.
Scientific name: Clusia rose
Common Names: Autograph Tree, Balsam Apple, Cupey, Copey, Scotch Attorney, Pitch Apple, Monkey Apple, Clusia.
Origin: Native to tropical areas of America.
Appearance: It is a dense evergreen with simple dark green leaves. It forms interesting aerial roots that can be used in different bonsai styles.
Flowering: It produces showy, drooping white and pink flowers with thick nearly round petals during summer months. Blooms are followed by green woody fruits that turn brownish and split from the top to reveal red seeds, surrounded by a black, resinous material.
Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both. You can grow it outdoors if you leave in a tropical climate.
Light Requirements: Full sun to part shade.
Water Requirements: Moist but well-drained soil. Needs more water during the hot summer months and less water during the winter months. It adapts very well to different soils and climates within the tropics. It is also salt, wind, and drought tolerant.
Fertilizing: Feed every two weeks during the spring and summer months with well-balanced bonsai fertilizer.
Hardiness: Grows best in the USDA Zones 11-12. Should be protected from freezing temperatures.
Insects and Diseases: Scale, leaf spot, and root rot.
Propagation: By seeds, cuttings, or air layers.