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Milkbark, Whitewood
Drypetes diversifolia
Putranjivaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Specimen or accent tree in the Florida Keys.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

An occasional element of rockland hammocks.
Availability:
Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.
Description:
Medium tree with and erect trunk. Bark smooth, white, usually covered with patches of gray, brown or yellow patches. Leaves stiff, dark green above, 3-5 inches long.
Dimensions:
Typically 20-30 feet in height; to 46 feet in South Florida. Taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Slow.
Range:
Monroe County Keys and Miami-Dade County; Bahamas. In Miami-Dade County, not known from the mainland; known only from the Florida Keys in and around Elliott Key in Biscayne National Park. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Habitats:
Rockland hammocks.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light Requirements:
Light shade.
Flower Color:
Yellowish-white.
Flower Characteristics:
Inconspicuous. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants.
Flowering Season:
All year; peak in summer.
Fruit:
Ivory-white ovoid drupe.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for Florida white (Appias drusilla) butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed.
Comments:
The seedling leaves resemble those of holly (Ilex). It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.


 


George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo, Florida, 2013
George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo, Florida, 2013
George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo, Florida, 2013
George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo, Florida, 2013