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Tough Florida bully
Sideroxylon tenax

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

General Landscape Uses: Accent or specimen shrub in coastal uplands.

Availability: Native plant nurseries.

Description: Large shrub or small tree with an open, irregular crown. Trunks short, bearing many irregular branches. Bark, thick, fissured, reddish brown. Leaves bright green above, the underside coated with rust-colored hairs.

Dimensions: About 5-15 feet in height or sometime more. Often broader than tall.

Growth Rate: Slow.

Range: Southeastern United States south to Miami-Dade and Collier counties. Very rare in South Florida outside of Palm Beach and Martin counties. Perhaps never present or extirpated in Broward County. Presumed extirpated in Miami-Dade County.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Coastal hammocks and scrub.

Soils: Moist to dry, well-drained 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: 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 to light shade.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: All year; peak spring-summer.

Fruit: Black ovoid berry.

Wildlife and Ecology: Attracts pollinators.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed.

References: Nelson 2003

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist.

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist.

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist.

Other data on Sideroxylon tenax available from:

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