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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.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

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

Other data on Guettarda scabra available from:

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