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Suriana maritima

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Accent or specimen shrub along the coast.

Availability: Native plant nurseries.  Available in Lake Worth at Indian Trails Native Nursery  (561-641-9488), Amelia's SmartyPlants (561-540-6296) and in Sanibel at the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (239-472-2329).

Description: Medium to large shrub or rarely a small tree with a conical crown. Trunks short, bearing many erect to ascending slender branches. Bark brown to dark gray, shaggy, stipping off to show light yellow inner bark. Leaves fine-textured, thick, fleshy, hairy on both sides, about 1-1 1/2 inches long.

Dimensions: Typically 6-10 feet in height. About as broad as tall or broader.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Monroe County Keys north along the coasts to Brevard, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties; West Indies, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Old World tropics. 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: Coastal thickets.

Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, usually without humusy top layer but with persistant leaf litter.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Frontline; grows in direct salt wind but away from constant salt spray.

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

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Yellow.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy, about 1/4" wide.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Inconspicuous reddish-brown dry carpel. All year.

Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host plant for mallow scrub-hairstreak (Strymon istapa) and martial scrub-hairstreak (Strymon martialis) butterflies. Nectar plant for great southern white (Ascia monuste), julia (Dryas iulia), martial scrub-hairsteak, Miami blue (Cyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri), obscure skipper (Panoquina panoquinoides) and other butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

References: Hammer 2004, Nelson 2003

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Jay Horn

Copyright by: Jay Horn

Copyright by: Michelle Smith, 2022.

Other data on Suriana maritima available from:

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