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Drypetes lateriflora

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.

Ecological Restoration Notes: An occasional or even rare element in hammocks along the coast and on the Miami Rock Ridge.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida. Available in Homestead at Plant Creations Inc. (305-248-8147).

Description: Medium erect tree with small ascending branches. Bark reddish to light brown. Leaves thin, firm, shiny dark green above, 3-4 inches long.

Dimensions: Typically 20-30 feet in height; to 31 feet in South Florida. Taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Slow to moderate.

Range: Monroe County Keys north mostly along the coasts to Brevard and Collier counties; Bahamas, Greater Antilles, Mexico and Central America. 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: Hammocks.

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

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate to high; grows best with some organic content and may languish in nutrient poor soils.

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.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Light shade.

Flower Color: Greenish-white.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants.

Flowering Season: Spring-summer.

Fruit: Bright red fuzzy drupe. Summer.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides some food and cover for wildlife. Larval host plant for Florida white (Appias drusilla) butterflies. Attracts bee pollinators.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

References: Schaefer & Tanner 1997

Comments: Closely resembles lancewood (Ocotea coriacea), but the bark is much lighter in color and the leaves are not fragrant when crushed. It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

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

Other data on Drypetes lateriflora available from:

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