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.
Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.
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. Attracts bee pollinators.
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.
Schaefer & Tanner 1997