General Landscape Uses:
Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.
Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.
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.
Typically 10-20 feet in height; to 25 feet in South Florida. Often as broad as tall or broader.
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
Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.
A wide variety of habitats, from dry forests to swamps.
Dry to seasonally wet, well-drained to moderately well-drained sand, limestone, or organic soils, with or without humusy top layer.
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.
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Full sun to light shade.
All year; peak spring-fall.
Bright yellow drupe. Edible.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides significant food and cover for wildlife.
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.