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Nakedwood, Soldierwood
Colubrina elliptica

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

General Landscape Uses: Buffer plantings.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A relatively common sub-canopy and edge tree of rockland hammocks in the upper Florida Keys.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida. Available in Boynton Beach at Sustainscape (561-245-5305).

Description: Small tree or large shrub with a spreading, open crown. Bark noticeably flaking, orange-brown. Leaves thin, yellow-green, 2-4 inches long.

Dimensions: Typically 10-20 feet in height; to 41 feet in South Florida. Usually taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Moderate to fast.

Range: Monroe County Keys and Miami-Dade County; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. In the Monroe County Keys, very rare or perhaps extirpated south of Plantation Key and apparently absent from the lower Keys. In Miami-Dade County, known only from the Florida Keys in and around Biscayne National Park and a single collection near what is now Castellow Hammock Park in the Redland area of the Miami Rock Ridge in 1904. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Rockland hammocks.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: 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: 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: Greenish-yellow.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Reddish-orange capsule.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed. Place in light shade or full sun.

References: Miami-Dade County Landscape Manual (2005).

Comments: It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.

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

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Other data on Colubrina elliptica available from:

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