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Sideroxylon celastrinum

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2013
In habitat, northern Colombia

General Landscape Uses: Spiny barrier plantings along the coast.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: Small tree or large shrub with a rounded crown. Trunks short, to 8 inches in diameter, bearing many irregular branches. Branches armed with 1 inch long thorns. Bark blackish, deeply furrrowed and broken into small regular squares. Leaves generally less than 1 inch long, in dense clusters, bluish or dull green above.

Dimensions: Typically 10-15 feet in height; to 29 feet in South Florida. Often as broad as tall.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Monroe County Keys north to Brevard and Levy counties; Bahamas and Cuba. 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 berms and margins of tidal swamps and marshes.

Soils: Moist to periodically wet, moderately well-drained to poorly-drained brackish 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: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

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

Light Requirements: Light shade.

Flower Color: Creamy-white.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Black berry. Edible and sweet.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2013
In habitat, northern Colombia

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2013
In habitat, northern Colombia

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Sideroxylon celastrinum available from:

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