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Jamaica-dogwood, Florida fishpoison tree
Piscidia piscipula
Fabaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Accent tree in coastal locations.
Availability:
Native plant nurseries.
Description:
Medium to large tree with an irregular crown composed of many erect or irregularly-shaped branches. Trunks to 3 feet in diameter, but usually much smaller. Bark thin, gray. Leaves compound, dark green above, pale beneath; tropical deciduous.
Dimensions:
Typically 25-35 feet in height; to 41 feet in South Florida. Taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Moderate to fast.
Range:
Monroe County Keys north to Miami-Dade and Lee counties; disjunct in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties; Bahamas, Greater Antilles, Mexico and Central America.
Habitats:
Coastal hammocks.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained limestone or calcareous sandy soils, with humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Moderately low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water, but tolerates short term inunation by salt water from storm surge with minimal damage.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
White to pink or lavender.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy for a brief period.
Flowering Season:
Spring.
Fruit:
Light brown pod (legume) with papery wings.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for cassius blue (Leptotes cassius) and hammock skipper (Polygonus leo) butterflies; also larval host for introduced fulvous hairstreak (Electrostrymon angelia) butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed.


 


Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley
Roger L. Hammer
Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley
George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo, Florida, 2013