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Saltmarsh-elder, Bigleaf sumpweed
Iva frutescens

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: Medium shrub with erect stems. Leaves succulent, semi-deciduous.

Dimensions: From 3-10 feet tall. Colonial, forming large patches.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Eastern and southeastern United States west to Texas and south to Miami-Dade and Collier counties. Not recorded for southeastern Florida except for a single Miami-Dade County collection made by John Kunkell Small and J.J. Carter on Virginia Key in 1906.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Coastal marshes.

Soils: Wet to moist, poorly-drained to inundated brackish soils.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: Greenish-white.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: Summer-fall.

Fruit: Inconspicuous achene.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides some food and moderate amounts of cover for wildlife.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed or cuttings.

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Iva frutescens available from:

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