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Woolly pyramidflower, Teabush, Broomwood, Grayleaf
Melochia tomentosa

Copyright by: Susan Lerner

General Landscape Uses: Accent shrub and natural landscapes.

Ecological Restoration Notes: Historically, known in Florida only from three old records from both sides of the Miami River (south of Coral Gables, Coral Gables, Buena Vista) and one specimen from a xeric hammock five miles south of Ft. Pierce in St. Lucie County. The last native population was vouchered in 1967 (Beckner 1978 FLAS), and extirpated sometime thereafter. Now widely cultivated from nonnative germplasm and naturalizing from Orlando south to the Florida Keys. To be planted with caution.

Availability: Native plant nurseries. Available in Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296), in Sarasota at Florida Native Plants Nursery (941-322-1915) and in Boynton Beach at Sustainscape (561-245-5305).

Description: Medium shrub; can be as broad as tall or broader.

Dimensions: To six feet in height or taller.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Peninsular Florida (Miami-Dade, St. Lucie counties), where extirpated and reintroduced, and Texas; the West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Pine rocklands and xeric hammock; disturbed uplands.

Soils: Moist well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with or without humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without significant injury.

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

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Pink.

Flower Characteristics: Small showy flowers.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Tiny capsule, about 1/4 long.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides nectar for a variety of butterflies, bees, and other wildlife.

Horticultural Notes: Easily grown from seed.

Comments: A beautiful and interesting specimen or accent shrub that attracts many insect visitors, but can become quickly overgrown; it may also readily recruit from seed in the garden.

Copyright by: Susan Lerner

Copyright by: Susan Lerner

Copyright by: (public domain)
originally published in Humboldt, F.H.A. von, Bonpland, A., Kunth, K.S., Nova genera et species plantarum, vol. 5: t. 482 (1821) [P.J.F. Turpin]

Other data on Melochia tomentosa available from:

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