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Florida trema, Nettletree
Trema micrantha

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts and occasionally by native plant nurseries.

Description: Small erect tree with a norrowly umbrella-shaped crown. Trunks erect, small, to 3 inches in diameter. Bark smooth when young, becoming rough with age. Leaves dark green and rough above, much lighter below.

Dimensions: Typically 10-20 feet in height; to 39 feet in South Florida. Taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Monroe County Keys north to Martin, Hendry and Pinellas counties; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. Very rare north of Broward and Collier counties. 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: Hammock edges and gaps.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone or 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 flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

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

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: Greenish-yellow to whitish.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Orange drupe borne on stems.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and some cover for wildlife. Larval host plant for io (Automeris io) moths; occasional larval host for martial scrub-hairstreak (Strymon martialis) butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Scatter seed over surface of soil and barely cover. Place container in light shade or full sun. Germination is in 3-4 weeks. Transplant into liners when mature leaves finish ermerging.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area, Broward County, Florida

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Trema micrantha available from:

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