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Nectandra coriacea

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

General Landscape Uses: Attractive accent or specimen tree for residential and commerical landscapes. Also buffer plantings.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A common canopy and subcanopy tree in hammocks.

Availability: Native plant nurseries. Available in Lake Worth at Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296).

Description: Medium tree with narrow round-topped crown composed of slender, spreading branches. Trunks straight, often angled, 6-15 inches in diameter. Bark gray when young, becoming dark reddish-brown, covered with numerous warts. Leaves smooth, dark green above, paler beneath, with a yellow midrib; aromatic when crushed, 3-6 inches long.

Dimensions: Typically 20-30 feet in height. Often as broad as tall, especially when young.

Growth Rate: Moderate to fast.

Range: Monroe County Keys north to Volusia, Highlands and Collier counties; West Indies, Mexico and Central America. In the Monroe County Keys, apparently absent south and west of Lignumvitae Key. 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: Hammocks.

Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: 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: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Light shade to full sun.

Flower Color: Creamy white.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy in dense clusters. Fragrant.

Flowering Season: Spring-fall; peaks in spring and late fall.

Fruit: 1/2" long drupe, ripening purple and eventually turning black, in a red or yellow cup-like base.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and moderate amounts of cover for wildlife. Attracts insect pollinators.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Plant right away; seeds do not store well. Place seed on surface of soil and just cover. Place container in light shade.

Comments: The leaves are fragrant when crushed. The attractive fruit resembles a miniature avocado. Synonyms: Ocotea coriacea.

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

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Nectandra coriacea available from:

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