General Landscape Uses:
Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also as an accent tree.
Ecological Restoration Notes:
An occasional element in hammocks, often associated with past aboriginal activity.
Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.
Available at Indian Trails Native Nursery
in Lake Worth (561-641-9488).
Medium to large tree with a broadly rounded crown. Trunk straight, 1-2 feet in diameter. Bark smooth with few or many warts. Leaves thin, 2-5 inches long. A temperate deciduous species.
Typically 25-50 feet in height in South Florida; to 100 feet in Florida. Taller than broad.
Moderate to fast.
Eastern and central United States south to Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland; northeastern Mexico. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida
Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.
Swamps and humid forests.
Moist, moderately well-drained to well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
Moderate to high; grows best with some organic content and may languish in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light shade to full sun.
Yellow to orange to red to dark purple fleshy drupe; late summer to fall. Edible, sweet.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Birds and other animals readily eat the sweet fruits. Sole larval host plant for American snout (Libytheana carineta) in South Florida; also larval host for tawny emperor (Asterocampa clyton), question mark (Polygonia interrogationis) and hackberry emperor (Aterocampa celtis) butterflies.
Can be grown from seed, which should be sown as soon as the fruit is ripe.
Common in some hammocks in South Florida, but missing in many others.