Blolly, Beeftree
Guapira discolor
Nyctaginaceae


Landscape Uses:

Accent tree or shrub. Buffer plantings.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Common in coastal hammocks along the east coast; rarer as an understory shrub in pine rocklands on the Miami Rock Ridge. Due to geographic variation in morphology, obtaining local germ plasm is recommended.
Availability:
Widely cultivated. Available at Indian Trails Native Nursery in Lake Worth (561-641-9488).
Description:
Small tree or large shrub with a compact, dense, rounded crown from a stout trunk with spreading branches. Bark smooth, reddish-brown, gray brown, or yellowish, often covered with patches of lichens. Leaves variable, thick or thin, light green and smooth above, around 1 to 2 inches long.
Height:
Typically 10-25 feet in height; to 34 feet in South Florida. Can be as broad as tall.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Monroe County Keys north mostly along the east coast to Brevard County; West Indies. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website. Little's Hendry county report has not been substantiated.
Habitats:
Hammocks and thickets; understory shrub in pine rocklands.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate to high; grows best with some organic content and may languish in nutrient poor soils.
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 injury.
Drought Tolerance:
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
Greenish-yellow.
Flower Characteristics:
Inconspicuous. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants.
Flowering Season:
All year; peak spring-summer.
Fruit:
Bright red berrylike drupe. Usually summer-fall.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Birds eat the fruits.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from de-pulped seeds. Place in light shade or full sun. Germination is usually in 2-3 weeks.
Comments:
Taxonomy: plants with smaller, more narrow leaves from the pine rocklands of the Miami Rock Ridge have been described as another species, Torrubia (=Guapira) longifolia, or variety, Pisonia (=Guapira) discolor var. longifolia; plants with hairy leaves from the Florida Keys have also been described as another species, Torrubia (=Guapira) floridana.


Roger L. Hammer
George D. Gann
George D. Gann
Shirley Denton