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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.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes north to Indian River and Manatee counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

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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