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Florida trema, Nettletree
Trema micrantha

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts and occasionally by native plant nurseries.

Description: Small erect tree with a norrowly umbrella-shaped crown. Trunks erect, small, to 3 inches in diameter. Bark smooth when young, becoming rough with age. Leaves dark green and rough above, much lighter below.

Dimensions: Typically 10-20 feet in height; to 39 feet in South Florida. Taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Monroe County Keys north to Martin, Hendry and Pinellas counties; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. Very rare north of Broward and Collier counties. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Hammock edges and gaps.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone or 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 flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

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

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: Greenish-yellow to whitish.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Orange drupe borne on stems.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and some cover for wildlife. Larval host plant for io (Automeris io) moths; occasional larval host for martial scrub-hairstreak (Strymon martialis) butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Scatter seed over surface of soil and barely cover. Place container in light shade or full sun. Germination is in 3-4 weeks. Transplant into liners when mature leaves finish ermerging.

References: Schaefer & Tanner 1997

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area, Broward County, Florida

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Trema micrantha available from:

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