Small to medium tree or large shrub with a narrow crown from small, erect branches. Bark smooth, gray to light reddish-brown, flaking off in irregular patches. Leaves somewhat shiny above, about 1-2 1/2 inches long, with many glandular dots, aromatic when crushed.
Typically 10-20 feet in height; to 51 feet in South Florida. Usually taller than broad.
Moderate to slow.
Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland north mostly along the coasts to St. Johns and Lee counties, but also in the interior in Hendry, Okeechobee, Osceola, Orange and Seminole counties and recently collected on the west coast in Pasco County at Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park (Rowe WB0538 USF); West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. Disjunct in Key West, where collected once in the 1800s; other reports as native for Big Pine Key were based on misidentifications of herbarium specimens. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website. Little’s mapped point for North Key Largo has not been verified.
Moist to rarely innundated, well-drained to moderately 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:
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.
Full sun to light shade.
Semi-showy in clusters. Fragrant.
All year; peak spring-summer.
Orange to red globose berry.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides food and cover for wildlife. Birds eat the fruits.
Can be grown from de-pulped seeds. Plant right away; seeds do not store well. Scatter seeds over soil and just cover. Place in light shade.
An excellent, attractive shrub or small tree for the garden. It is listed as threatened by the state of 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.