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Maidenbush, Bahama maidenbush
Heterosavia bahamensis

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2017
In habitat, National Key Deer Refuge, Monroe County, Florida, USA

General Landscape Uses: Accent shrub in the Florida Keys. Also buffer plantings.

Availability: Native plant nurseries. Available in Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296) and in Homestead at Plant Creations Inc. (305-248-8147).

Description: Medium shrub or rarely a small tree with a rounded crown. Bark pale gray or whitish. Leaves smooth, dark green, about 1-2 inches long.

Dimensions: About 8-12 feet in height or rarely more. Usually about as broad as tall.

Growth Rate: Slow.

Range: Monroe County Keys; Bahamas and Cuba. In the Monroe County Keys, native from Big Pine Key to Key West. 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: Rockland hammocks.

Soils: Moist, well-drained 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: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Greenish-white.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous. Fragrant. Dioecious, with make and female flowers on different plants.

Flowering Season: Spring-summer; peak in spring.

Fruit: Rounded capsule.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: It closely resembles cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco). It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida.

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2017
In habitat, National Key Deer Refuge, Monroe County, Florida, USA

Other data on Heterosavia bahamensis available from:

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