Natives For Your Neighborhood is a labor of love and commitment. If you use this website, help us maintain and grow it with your tax-deductible donation.


Please scroll to the bottom for more images.
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.

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.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

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 significant 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. pollinators

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

References: Hammer 2004, Nelson 2003, Schaefer & Tanner 1997

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:

Resources Links:
Find Native Plants!

Acknowledgements and past sponsors

Become a sponsor!

Major Sponsor:

Emergent Sponsors:

Canopy Sponsors:
Herbaceous Sponsors:

Jay Bird - @BotanizingBirdingButterflies

Florida Native Plant Nursery