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Florida privet, Florida swampprivet
Forestiera segregata

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Accent shrub or tree. Buffer plantings.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A common shrub along hammock ecotones, especially along the coast. It can be used sparingly as an understory shrub in pine rocklands, but pine rockland germ plasm is recommended.

Availability: Widely cultivated. Available in Lake Worth at Indian Trails Native Nursery (561-641-9488) and at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).

Description: Large shrub or small tree with a dense, irregular crown composed of many small trunks from crooked trunks. Bark pale or creamy, thin, smooth with many breathing pores (lenticels). Leaves dark green above, 3/4-2 inches long. Semi-deciduous, with the old leaves falling as the new flush of growth begins.

Dimensions: Typically 8-15 feet in height in South Florida; to 17.5 feet in Florida. Often as broad as tall.

Growth Rate: Moderate to fast.

Range: Southeastern United States south to the Monroe County Keys; Bermuda and the West Indies. Very rare and scattered in the Monroe County Keys. 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: Hammocks and hammock edges; understory shrub in pine rocklands.

Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy or 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: High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.

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

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Yellowish-green.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy, in small clusters from the axils of the previous year's growth. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants, or polygamodioecious, with a few flowers of the opposite sex or bisexual flowers on the same plant.

Flowering Season: All year; peak in spring.

Fruit: Black or dark purple drupe.

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

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Cover with soil and place in full sun.

Comments: This fast growing shrub recruits readily in the garden from seed. Taxomomy: plants with smaller leaves growing in the pine rocklands of Miami-Dade County have been described as a distinct species, F. pinetorum, or variety, F. segregata var. pinetorum.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Eric Fleites

Other data on Forestiera segregata available from:

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