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Key tree cactus
Pilosocereus polygonus
Cactaceae
 

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer
in habitat, Florida Keys

General Landscape Uses: Accent or specimen shrub. Because of its rarity and the chance of genetic contamination, it is not recommended for general landscape use in South Florida.

Ecological Restoration Notes: Very rare in coastal hammocks in the Florida Keys.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts and botanical gardens.

Description: Large shrub or small tree.

Dimensions: Typically 5-15 feet in South Florida.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Florida Keys; West Indies. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Coastal hammocks and thickets.

Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with or without humus.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Moderately low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water, but tolerates short term inunation by salt water from storm surge with minimal damage.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: Yellowish-white.

Flower Characteristics: Showy.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Large, red berry.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed and cuttings.

Comments: Material from both South Florida and elsewhere in the West Indies is in cultivation in South Florida. Horticultural synonyms: P. bahamensis, P. robinii.

For more information, visit our Floristic Inventory of the Florida Keys Database Online.


Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer
in habitat, Florida Keys

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley
in habitat, Abaco Island, Bahamas, 2006

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011, with Bromelia pinguin

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Dominican Republic, 2011, with Zamia pumila


Other data on Pilosocereus polygonus available from:



 
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