General Landscape Uses:
Accent or specimen shrub or small tree.
Native plant nurseries.
Small tree or large shrub with stout, rigid branches and an irregular crown. Trunks to 9 inches in diameter, but usually much less. Bark dark reddish-brown with large plate-like scales. Leaves thick, rigid, about 1-1 1/2 inches long with a notched tip.
Typically 10-15 feet in heigth; to 28 feet in South Florida. Often as broad as tall.
Monroe County Keys and Miami-Dade County; Bahamas and Cuba. In Miami-Dade County not know from the mainland; known only from the Florida Keys in and around Elliott Key in Biscayne National Park, and from the adjacent barrier islands of Key Biscayne and Virginia Key. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida
Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.
Moist, well-drained limestone (rarely 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.
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Full sun to light shade.
All year; peak spring-summer.
Purple to black drupe. Edible.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides food and cover for wildlife.
Can be grown from seed.
The edible fruits taste like blueberries, but there is little pulp. The wood is extremely dense. It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.