General Landscape Uses:
An excellent accent shrub or small tree in southern Miami-Dade County.
Ecological Restoration Notes: This species grows almost exclusively in the ecotone between rockland hammocks and pine rocklands. However, it can be used along the edges of rockland hammock creations, even when the ecotone itself is missing.
Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.
Description: An interesting small tree or large shrub with and open, spreading crown. Mature trunks 4-8 inches in diameter. Leaves fine textured, thin.
Dimensions: Typically 10-20 feet in height; to 35 feet in South Florida. Usually taller than broad.
Growth Rate: Moderate.
Miami-Dade County; Bahamas, Greater Antilles, southern Mexico and Central America. In Miami-Dade County, known only from the southern part of the Miami Rock Ridge from Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park northeast to west of Goulds. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.
Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone soils, with or without humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements: Moderate to low; it prefers soils with organic content, but will still grow reasonably well in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color: Green to yellowish-white.
Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy in long hanging spikes, 3-4 inches long. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants.
Flowering Season: Fall-spring.
Fruit: Densely pubescent winged fruit (samara); semi-showy, light tan tinged with red.
Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host plant for dina yellow (Eurema dina) butterflies. Probably wind pollinated.
Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed, but not all seeds will be viable.
Comments: This is a beautiful small tree that is rarely cultivated in South Florida. It is listed as endangered by the State of Florida. See also Florida Natural Areas Inventory's Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Florida page (Chafin 2000).