Description: Small shrub or woody groundcover with attractive yellow flowers.
Dimensions: About 2-4 feet in height. Spreading and becoming much broader than tall.
Growth Rate: Fast.
Monroe County Keys and Miami-Dade County; Bahamas and Cuba. Very rare or absent in the upper Monroe County Keys. In Miami-Dade County, native to the Miami Rock Ridge from Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park northeast perhaps as far north as the Miami River.
Habitats: Pine rocklands and rockland hammock edges.
Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone soils, with or without humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows 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 to light shade.
Flower Color: Yellow.
Flower Characteristics: Showy, about 3/4" wide.
Flowering Season: All year.
Fruit: Brown pod (legume).
Wildlife and Ecology:Larval host plant for cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae), sleepy orange (Eurema nicippe) and the introduced orange-barred sulphur (Phoebis philea) butterflies. A gland at the base of the leaves attracts ants that attack the butterfly caterpillars. Attracts pollinators.
Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.
References: Hammer 2004
Comments: It is listed as threatened by the state of Florida. See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page.