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Rough velvetseed
Guettarda scabra

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

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

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Small tree or medium shrub with erect branches and an open, irregular crown. Leaves leathery, very rough above, about 2-4 inches long or sometimes longer.

Dimensions: Typically 5-15 feet in height or sometimes taller, especially in the Florida Keys. Taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Monore County Keys north along the east coast to Martin County; West Indies. Very rare or perhaps absent in the middle Monroe County Keys. Also very rare and sporadic north of the Miami River; perhaps never present or extirpated in Broward County; possibly extirpated in Palm Beach County; known from one location in Martin County. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website. Little mapped this north only to Broward County.

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: Pine rocklands and hammocks.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone (occasionally sandy) soils, with or without humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate to low; it prefers soils with organic content, but will still grow reasonably well in nutrient poor soils.

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 to high; plants growing in extremely dry soils may die during extended periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy.

Flowering Season: All year; peak winter-spring.

Fruit: Rounded red berry.

Horticultural Notes: Difficult to grow from seed.

Comments: Of sporadic occurrence north of the Miami River.

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: George D. Gann
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Copyright by: Don & Joyce Gann

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Eric Fleites

Copyright by: Joe Montes de Oca via iNaturalist

Other data on Guettarda scabra available from:

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