Small to medium tree with an erect trunk and a narrow, rounded crown. Trunks to 16 inches in diameter on very old trees. Bark gray, with narrow strips of loose bark on older trees. Leaves thick and stiff, glossy, bright green, about 1-2 inches long, with a pronounced drip tip.
Typically 15-25 feet in height; to 46 feet in South Florida. Taller than broad.
Very slow to slow.
Monroe County Keys and Miami-Dade County; disjunct in Martin County; West Indies. Native to the Florida Keys from North Key Largo in Monroe County to Sands Key in Miami-Dade County, the Miami-Dade County mainland on the Miami Rock Ridge from Snapper Creek to Brickell Hammock, and Martin County at Sewell's Point, where possibly extirpated. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website. The report from the interior of Everglades National Park has not been substantiated.
Moist, well-drained limestone or sandy 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:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Light shade to full sun.
All year; peak spring-summer.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides food and cover for wildlife. Birds eat the fruits.
Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Place in light shade. Germination usually occurs within 1 month.
The shiny leaves have an attractive drip tip. It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.
Keith J. Buttry, 2015 Seedlings of plants in habitat, Simpson Park Miami, Florida
James J. Lange, 2015 Seedling along trail, Simpson Park, Miami
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.