General Landscape Uses:
In coastal areas where protected from wind and boat wake.
Ecological Restoration Notes:
A key element of tidal swamps.
Native plant nurseries.
Medium tree or sometimes a large shrub with a narrow rounded crown from stout spreading branches. Trunk usually leaning, 10-20 inches in diameter. Bark light brown, thin, roughened. Leaves leathery, fleshy, dark green and shiny above, lighter beneath, 1-3 inches long.
Typically 15-30 feet in height; reported to 60 feet. Usually taller than broad.
Moderate to fast.
Monroe County Keys north along the coasts to Volusia and Levy counties; West Indies, Mexico, Central America, South America and western Africa. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida
Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.
Map of suggested ZIP codes north to Indian River and Manatee counties.
Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations north to Martin and Charlotte counties.
Wet inundated saline soils.
Moderate to high; grows best with some organic content and may languish in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
High; tolerates flooding by salt water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.
Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.
Inconspicuous. Fragrant. Functionally dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants.
Mostly spring-summer; peak in spring.
Oblong, often ribbed, greenish-brown drupe, 3/4" long. All year; peak late summer.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Seeds begin to sprout while the fruit is still attached to the tree; the partially sprouted fruits fall into the water and are dispersed.
Easily grown from seed (propagules).
One of the three native mangrove trees in South Florida, it is usually found landward of the other two mangroves, although the three may mix. The bark is harvested for its abundant tannin. See a 2019 post on the Treasure Coast Natives
blog on the interesting properties of roots and leaves on white mangroves.