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Tough Florida bully
Sideroxylon tenax

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

General Landscape Uses: Accent or specimen shrub in coastal uplands.

Availability: Native plant nurseries.

Description: Large shrub or small tree with an open, irregular crown. Trunks short, bearing many irregular branches. Bark, thick, fissured, reddish brown. Leaves bright green above, the underside coated with rust-colored hairs.

Dimensions: About 5-15 feet in height or sometime more. Often broader than tall.

Growth Rate: Slow.

Range: Southeastern United States south to Miami-Dade and Collier counties. Very rare in South Florida outside of Palm Beach and Martin counties. Perhaps never present or extirpated in Broward County. Presumed extirpated in Miami-Dade County.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Coastal hammocks and scrub.

Soils: Moist to dry, well-drained sandy 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 to light shade.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: All year; peak spring-summer.

Fruit: Black ovoid berry.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed.

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Sideroxylon tenax available from:

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