Suriana maritima

Landscape Uses:

Accent or specimen shrub along the coast.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Native plant nurseries.  Available in Lake Worth at Indian Trails Native Nursery  (561-641-9488), Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296) and in Sanibel at the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (239-472-2329).
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.
Growth Rate:
Monroe County Keys north along the coasts to Brevard, 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.
Coastal thickets.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, usually without humusy top layer but with persistant leaf litter.
Nutritional Requirements:
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.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy, about 1/4" wide.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Inconspicuous reddish-brown dry carpel. All year.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for mallow scrub-hairstreak (Strymon istapa) and martial scrub-hairstreak (Strymon martialis) butterflies. Nectar plant for great southern white (Ascia monuste), julia (Dryas iulia), martial scrub-hairsteak, Miami blue (Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri), obscure skipper (Panoquina panoquinoides) and other butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed.

Roger L. Hammer
George D. Gann
Jay Horn
Jay Horn
Michelle Smith, 2022.