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Jamaica-dogwood, Florida fishpoison tree
Piscidia piscipula

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

General Landscape Uses: Accent tree in coastal locations.

Availability: Native plant nurseries. Available in Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).

Description: Medium to large tree with an irregular crown composed of many erect or irregularly-shaped branches. Trunks to 3 feet in diameter, but usually much smaller. Bark thin, gray. Leaves compound, dark green above, pale beneath; tropical deciduous.

Dimensions: Typically 25-35 feet in height; to 41 feet in South Florida. Taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Moderate to fast.

Range: Monroe County Keys north moslty along the coasts to Miami-Dade and Lee counties; disjunct in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties; Bahamas, Greater Antilles, Mexico and Central America. 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.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone or calcareous sandy soils, with humusy top layer.

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

Salt Water Tolerance: Moderately low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water, but tolerates short term inunation by salt water from storm surge with minimal damage.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

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

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: White to pink or lavender.

Flower Characteristics: Showy for a brief period.

Flowering Season: Spring.

Fruit: Light brown pod (legume) with papery wings.

Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host plant for cassius blue (Leptotes cassius) and hammock skipper (Polygonus leo) butterflies; also larval host for the recently introduced fulvous hairstreak (Electrostrymon angelia) butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2013
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Key Largo, Florida

Other data on Piscidia piscipula available from:

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