Description: Medium to large shrub or rarely a small tree with a conical crown. Trunks short, bearing many erect to ascending slender branches. Bark brown to dark gray, shaggy, stipping off to show light yellow inner bark. Leaves fine-textured, thick, fleshy, hairy on both sides, about 1-1 1/2 inches long.
Dimensions: Typically 6-10 feet in height. About as broad as tall or broader.
Growth Rate: Moderate.
Monroe County Keys north along the coasts to Indian River, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties; West Indies, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Old World tropics. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, usually without humusy top layer but with persistant leaf litter.
Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance: Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.
Salt Wind Tolerance: Frontline; grows in direct salt wind but away from constant salt spray.
Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements: Full sun.
Flower Color: Yellow.
Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy, about 1/4" wide.
Flowering Season: All year.
Fruit: Inconspicuous reddish-brown dry carpel. All year.
Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host plant for mallow scrub-hairstreak (Strymon istapa), martial scrub-hairstreak (Strymon martialis) butterflies. Nectar plant for great southern white (Ascia monuste), julia (Dryas iulia), martial scrub-hairsteak, obscure skipper (Panoquina panoquinoides) and other butterflies.