General Landscape Uses:
Accent tree or shrub. Buffer plantings.
Ecological Restoration Notes:
Common in coastal hammocks along the east coast; rarer as an understory shrub in pine rocklands on the Miami Rock Ridge. Due to geographic variation in morphology, obtaining local germ plasm is recommended.
Widely cultivated. Available at Indian Trails Native Nursery
in Lake Worth (561-641-9488).
Small tree or large shrub with a compact, dense, rounded crown from a stout trunk with spreading branches. Bark smooth, reddish-brown, gray brown, or yellowish, often covered with patches of lichens. Leaves variable, thick or thin, light green and smooth above, around 1 to 2 inches long.
Typically 10-25 feet in height; to 34 feet in South Florida. Can be as broad as tall.
Monroe County Keys north mostly along the east coast to Brevard County; West Indies. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida
website. Little's Hendry county report has not been substantiated.
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.
Hammocks and thickets; understory shrub in pine rocklands.
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
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:
High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without significant injury.
Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.
Full sun to light shade.
Inconspicuous. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants.
All year; peak spring-summer.
Bright red berrylike drupe. Usually summer-fall.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Birds eat the fruits.
Can be grown from de-pulped seeds. Place in light shade or full sun. Germination is usually in 2-3 weeks.
Hammer 2004, Schaefer & Tanner 1997
Taxonomy: plants with smaller, more narrow leaves from the pine rocklands of the Miami Rock Ridge have been described as another species, Torrubia (=Guapira) longifolia, or variety, Pisonia (=Guapira) discolor var. longifolia; plants with hairy leaves from the Florida Keys have also been described as another species, Torrubia (=Guapira) floridana.