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Florida privet, Florida swampprivet
Forestiera segregata
Oleaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Accent shrub or tree. Buffer plantings.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

A common shrub along hammock ecotones, especially along the coast. It can be used sparingly as an understory shrub in pine rocklands, but pine rockland germ plasm is recommended.
Availability:
Widely cultivated. Available at Indian Trails Native Nursery in Lake Worth (561-641-9488).
Description:
Large shrub or small tree with a dense, irregular crown composed of many small trunks from crooked trunks. Bark pale or creamy, thin, smooth with many breathing pores (lenticels). Leaves dark green above, 3/4-2 inches long. Semi-deciduous, with the old leaves falling as the new flush of growth begins.
Dimensions:
Typically 8-15 feet in height in South Florida; to 17.5 feet in Florida. Often as broad as tall.
Growth Rate:
Moderate to fast.
Range:
Southeastern United States south to the Monroe County Keys; Bermuda and the West Indies. Very rare and scattered in the Monroe County Keys. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Habitats:
Hammocks and hammock edges; understory shrub in pine rocklands.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone 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 long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Yellowish-green.
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy, in small clusters from the axils of the previous year's growth. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants, or polygamodioecious, with a few flowers of the opposite sex or bisexual flowers on the same plant.
Flowering Season:
All year; peak in spring.
Fruit:
Black or dark purple drupe.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Birds eat the fruits.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Cover with soil and place in full sun.
Comments:
This fast growing shrub recruits readily in the garden from seed. Taxomomy: plants with smaller leaves growing in the pine rocklands of Miami-Dade County have been described as a distinct species, F. pinetorum, or variety, F. segregata var. pinetorum.


 


Roger L. Hammer
Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Eric Fleites