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Wild dilly
Manilkara jaimiqui subsp. emarginata

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Specimen tree or shrub in the Florida Keys. Buffer plantings.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A fairly common element of the upland side of the ecotone between tidal swamps and rockland hammocks in the Florida Keys. Rare elsewhere.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida. Available in Homestead at Plant Creations Inc. (305-248-8147).

Description: Small to medium tree or large shrub with a dense rounded crown. Trunks usually short, gnarled to 18 inches in diameter, but usually much less in South Florida. Bark gray to reddish-brown, deeply fissured and breaking into small plates. Leaves think, leathery, clustered toward the ends of the twigs.

Dimensions: Typically 10-15 feet in height; to 21 feet in South Florida. Usually as broad as tall or broader.

Growth Rate: Slow.

Range: Monroe County Keys, Miami-Dade and Collier counties; Bahamas. In Miami-Dade County, native to islands in and around Elliott Key in Biscayne National Park and the extreme southern mainland along the shores of Florida Bay in Everglades National Park; collected once in Collier County by J.R. Lorenz in what is now the Cape Romano - Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve. 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: Coastal hammocks and pine rocklands.

Soils: Moist to rarely inundated, well-drained to moderately well-drained limestone soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Yellowish.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: All year; peak spring-summer.

Fruit: Light brown berry. Edible.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides food and cover for wildlife.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: Related to the commercially grown sapodilla (Manilkara zapota). It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Don & Joyce Gann

Copyright by: Don & Joyce Gann

Other data on Manilkara jaimiqui subsp. emarginata available from:

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