Medium to large shrub with an irregular rounded crown. Trunks short, bearing several arching stems. Bark yellowish-brown, roughend by lenticels. Leaves glossy dark green, shiny above, slighly hairy when young then becoming glabrous.
Typically 8-10 feet in height. About as broad as tall.
Monroe County Keys north to Brevard and Levy counties; Mexico, Central America and South America.
Edges of coastal forests and thickets.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer; rarely on peat on tree islands in the southern Everglades.
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.
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Showy, in long, racemose, terminal spikes.
Yellowish-brown beaded pods (legumes), 2-6" long.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides food and shelter for wildlife. Nectar plant for hummingbirds and butterflies. The flowers also attract warblers and bees.
Can be grown from seed. Care must now be taken to avoid pollination by S. tomentosa var. occidentalis (see below).
The very hairy, commonly sold necklacepod is S. tomentosa var. occidentalis from the West Indies. The seeds are toxic if eaten.
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. 2005-2014. Natives For Your Neighborhood. http://www.regionalconservation.org.
The Institute for Regional Conservation. Delray Beach, Florida USA.