Medium to large shrub or rarely a small tree with a conical crown. Trunks short, bearing many erect to ascending slender branches. Bark brown to dark gray, shaggy, stipping off to show light yellow inner bark. Leaves fine-textured, thick, fleshy, hairy on both sides, about 1-1 1/2 inches long.
Typically 6-10 feet in height. About as broad as tall or broader.
Monroe County Keys north along the coasts to Indian River, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties; West Indies, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Old World tropics. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, usually without humusy top layer but with persistant leaf litter.
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Frontline; grows in direct salt wind but away from constant salt spray.
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Semi-showy, about 1/4" wide.
Inconspicuous reddish-brown dry carpel. All year.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for mallow scrub-hairstreak (Strymon istapa), martial scrub-hairstreak (Strymon martialis) butterflies. Nectar plant for great southern white (Ascia monuste), julia (Dryas iulia), martial scrub-hairsteak, obscure skipper (Panoquina panoquinoides) and other butterflies.
Gann, G.D., M.E. Abdo, J.W. Gann, G.D. Gann, Sr., S.W.
Woodmansee, K.A. Bradley, E. Grahl and K.N. Hines. 2005-2015. Natives For Your Neighborhood. http://www.regionalconservation.org.
The Institute for Regional Conservation. Delray Beach, Florida USA.