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Scrub bay, Silk bay
Persea borbonia var. humilis
Lauraceae


General Landscape Uses:

Accent tree in sunny, dry locations.
Availability:
Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.
Description:
Medium tree or large shrub with a dense round-topped to cylindrical crown. Bark brown, thick, roughened by many furrows and ridges. Leaves medium green above, waxy beneath, 1-3 inches long, aromatic when crushed.
Dimensions:
Typically 15-25 feet in height in South Florida; to 38 feet in Florida. Taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Endemic to peninsular Florida from Volusia, Putnam, Marion and Levy County south to Palm Beach and Collier counties.
Habitats:
Scrub, scrubby flatwoods and xeric hammocks.
Soils:
Dry, well-drained sandy soils, without humus.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low; it grows 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.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Greenish.
Flower Characteristics:
Inconspicuous.
Flowering Season:
Spring.
Fruit:
Rounded drupe.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Probably larval host plant for palamedes swallowtail (Papilio palamedes) and spicebush swallowtail (Papilio troilus) butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Plant right away; seeds do not store well. Sprinkle soil over the seed to just cover. Place container in light shade or full sun.
Comments:
An herbarium voucher from Palm Beach County is needed.


 


Keith A. Bradley
George D. Gann
George D. Gann
George D. Gann
George D. Gann
Shirley Denton