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Wild mastic, False mastic
Sideroxylon foetidissimum

Copyright by: George D. Gann

General Landscape Uses: Specimen or shade tree in residential and commercial landscapes.

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

Description: Medium to large tree with an irregular, rounded crown. Trunks large, erect, buttressed at the base, to 3 feet in diameter. Bark brown to gray brown or reddish-brown, thick, broken into thick plates exposing inner bark. Leaves glossy, dark green to yellowish-green with a wavy margin, 2-6 inches long.

Dimensions: Typically 30-60 feet in height; to 118 feet in South Florida. Taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Monroe County Keys north, mostly along the coasts, to Volusia and Manatee counties; West Indies and Mexico. Very rare in the middle and lower Monroe County Keys. 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; 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: High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without injury.

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

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Greenish-yellow.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous but foul-smelling.

Flowering Season: Spring-fall; peak in summer.

Fruit: Yellow-orange berry, about 1" long. Edible. Winter-summer.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and cover for wildlife.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: The fruits are edible raw, but the latex is very sticky. The wood is used for ship building in the West Indies.

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Steve Woodmansee
Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park

Copyright by: Don & Joyce Gann

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Sideroxylon foetidissimum available from:

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