Small to medium tree with slender branches. Trunk 4-10 inches in diameter, rarely more. Bark dark gray, rough, becoming furrowed and forming vertical ridges. Leaves attractive, bright glossy green above, 1-1 1/2 inches long. Unfolding leaves are pinkish.
Typically 15-25 feet in height; to 33 feet in South Florida. Usually taller than broad.
Slow to very slow.
Monroe County Keys north mostly along east coast to Brevard County; West Indies, Mexico and Central America. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
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:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Full sun to light shade.
Inconspicuous, but the small flowers secrete copious amounts of nectar.
All year; peak late spring to late summer.
Oval or nearly round, 1/3" long drupe, ripening black. Mostly maturing summer to fall. Edible; sweet.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides moderate amounts of food and significant cover for wildlife. Birds and other animals eat the fruits.
Can be grown from seed. Clean and plant right away; seed does not store well. Place container in light shade.
The wood is hard, the densest of all woods native to South Florida; it will sink in water.
Roger L. Hammer
George D. Gann
George D. Gann in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011
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.