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Hog-plum, Tallowwood
Ximenia americana

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

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

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: Large shrub or small to medium tree with wide-spreading, even vine-like, thorny branches. Trunks 3-4 inches in diameter, rarely larger. Bark thin, reddish-brown. Leaves shiny, light yellowish-green, about 1-3 inches long, oftern clustered.

Dimensions: Typically 10-20 feet in height; to 25 feet in South Florida. Often as broad as tall or broader.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Monroe County Keys north to Duval, Clay, Alachua and Levy counties; West Indies, Mexico, Central America, South America and Africa. 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: A wide variety of habitats, from dry forests to swamps.

Soils: Dry to seasonally wet, well-drained to moderately well-drained sand, limestone, or organic soils, with or without humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate to low; it prefers soils with organic content, but will still grow reasonably well in nutrient poor soils.

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

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

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

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: Yellowish-white.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous. Fragrant.

Flowering Season: All year; peak spring-fall.

Fruit: Bright yellow drupe. Edible.

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

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed. It is semi-parasitic on the roots of other hardwoods, which makes it somewhat challenging to grow; some will place a Virginia live oak in the same container as a host.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Blazingstar Preserve, Palm Beach County, Florida

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: George D. Gann
Monroe County, Florida, 2013

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Ximenia americana available from:

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