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Ironwood, Redberry stopper
Eugenia confusa

Copyright by: Don & Joyce Gann

General Landscape Uses: Specimen tree.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A rare sub-canopy tree within a geographically limited area. Mostly associated with primary or very old secondary hammocks.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida. Available in Lake Worth at Indian Trails Native Nursery (561-641-9488).

Description: Small to medium tree with an erect trunk and a narrow, rounded crown. Trunks to 16 inches in diameter on very old trees. Bark gray, with narrow strips of loose bark on older trees. Leaves thick and stiff, glossy, bright green, about 1-2 inches long, with a pronounced drip tip.

Dimensions: Typically 15-25 feet in height; to 46 feet in South Florida. Taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Very slow to slow.

Range: Monroe County Keys and Miami-Dade County; disjunct in Martin and Brevard counties; West Indies. Native to the Florida Keys from North Key Largo in Monroe County to Sands Key in Miami-Dade County, the Miami-Dade County mainland on the Miami Rock Ridge from Snapper Creek to Brickell Hammock, Martin County at Sewell's Point, where possibly extirpated, and Brevard County, where collected once in 1923. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website. The report from the interior of Everglades National Park has not been substantiated.

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: Coastal hammocks.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone or sandy 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: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Light shade to full sun.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy.

Flowering Season: All year; peak spring-summer.

Fruit: Red berry.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides food and cover for wildlife. Birds eat the fruits.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Place in light shade. Germination usually occurs within 1 month.

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

Comments: The shiny leaves have an attractive drip tip. It is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.

Copyright by: Don & Joyce Gann

Copyright by: Don & Joyce Gann

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Keith J. Buttry, 2015
Seedlings of plants in habitat, Simpson Park
Miami, Florida

Copyright by: James J. Lange, 2015
Seedling along trail, Simpson Park, Miami

Other data on Eugenia confusa available from:

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