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Everglades velvetseed, Hammock velvetseed
Guettarda elliptica

Copyright by: George D. Gann

General Landscape Uses: Accent shrub or small tree. Buffer plantings.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Small tree or large shrub with an open, irregular crown from small upright branches. Bark dark brown, smooth. Leaves dull green above, 1-2 inches long.

Dimensions: Typically 10-20 feet in height; to 23 feet in South Florida. Usually taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties; disjunct in St. Lucie County; West Indies and Mexico. In Broward County, known only from Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Pine rocklands and hammocks.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone (rarely sandy) soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate to low; it prefers soils with organic content, but will still grow reasonably well in nutrient poor soils.

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: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: White to reddish-pink.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy.

Flowering Season: All year; peak in spring.

Fruit: Rounded purple berry.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and cover for wildlife.

Horticultural Notes: Difficult to grow from seed.

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Other data on Guettarda elliptica available from:

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