Small tree or large shrub with dense foliage and a narrow, rounded crown. Bark pale brown mottled with light gray. Leaves flat, covered with rusty hairs when young, dark green above, about 1-3 inches long.
Typically 15-20 feet in height; to 40 feet in South Florida. Usually taller than broad.
Slow to moderate.
Monroe County Keys and Miami-Dade and Collier counties; West Indies, Mexico and Central America. Native to the Florida Keys in Monroe and Miami-Dade counties, but very rare or absent in the middle Keys. On the mainland in Miami-Dade County, native to the Miami Rock Ridge from Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park northeast to the Miami River. In Collier County, known only from the Bear Island area in Big Cypress National Preserve. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website. We have been unable to corroborate Little's Hendry County record.
Moist or rarely briefly inundated, well-drained limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
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:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light shade to full sun.
Dark red berry.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides food and cover for wildlife. Birds eat the fruits.
Can be grown from de-pulped, scarified seed. Plant right away; seeds do not store well. Place in light shade or full sun. Germination is within a month. Plants tend to produce many stems, so early pruning is needed if a single leader is desired.
It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.
George D. Gann in habitat in Everglades National Park, Miami-Dade County, Florida
Gann, G.D., M.E. Abdo, J.W. Gann, G.D. Gann, Sr., S.W.
Woodmansee, K.A. Bradley, E. Grahl and K.N. Hines. 2005-2016. Natives For Your Neighborhood. http://www.regionalconservation.org.
The Institute for Regional Conservation. Delray Beach, Florida USA.