Florida Native Trees & Shrubs
Page 4

On this page - Paradisetree, Marlberry, Carolina Willow, Strangler Fig, American Persimmon, Gulf Greytwig, Devil's walking-stick, Red Mulberry

Paradisetree - Simarouba glauca

Image - Paradisetree (Simarouba glauca) Image - Paradisetree fruit (Simarouba glauca)

Family - Simaroubaceae

Habitat - Coastal Hammocks

Description - Native tree with sparsely branched straight trunk to 50 feet tall. Leaves stiff, alternate, pinnately compound, 11-12 inches long with 10 to 14 elliptic to oval leaflets. Dark shiny green above, grey underneath. New growth is reddish.

Flower - Yellow to cream colored, in profuse terminal and/or axillary clusters. Fruit is a reddish oval drupe, just under an inch long, turning black when mature.

Marlberry - Ardisia escallonioides

Image - Marlberry (Ardisia escallonioides) and fruit

Family - Myrsinaceae

Habitat - Coastal Hammocks, Inland Hammocks, Thickets

Description - Native shrub or small tree to 20 feet or more in south Florida, more commonly 12-15 feet. Narrow crown, taller than broad, slender trunk and branches with thin, pale grey bark. Leaves are a shiny dark green above, paler dull green below, elliptic, alternate, 4-8 inches long, margins entire.

Flower - Fragrant, creamy white throughout the year, produced in terminal clusters. Fruit is a fleshy drupe, 1/2 inch or less, deep red to black.

Carolina Willow - Salix caroliniana

Image - Coastalplain Willow (Salix caroliniana) whole tree. Image - Coastalplain Willow leaf detail. carolina willow f+lowers Image - Coastalplain Willow flower detail.

Family - Salicaceae, Willow family

Habitat - Edges of freshwater rivers, ponds, lakes, ditches, marshes, open wet forests & shrub swamps.

Description - Native deciduous tree to 25 - 30 feet high, often with multiple trunks. Common throughout most of South Florida. Leaves are alternate, 2-7 inches long, lanceolate, with finely serrate margins.

Flower - Small yellow flowers on catkins, 3-4 inches long.

Strangler Fig - Ficus aurea

Image - Strangler Fig (Ficus aurea) Image - Strangler Fig, leaf detail.

Family - Ficus

Habitat - Hammocks, Swamps

Description - Native tree, often seen as a epiphyte seedling nestled in the frond boots of Cabbage palms (Sabal palmetto). Eventually engulfs and strangles the host tree and becomes a free standing tree.

Height to 60 feet with a broad, spreading crown and numerous aerial roots. Leaf alternate, 6-8 inches long, dark green, elliptic to ovate in shape with entire, undulate margins.

American Persimmon - Diospyros virginiana

Image - Persimmon tree (Diospyros virginiana) Image - American Persimmon flower detail Image - American Persimmon fruit.

Family - Ebenaceae

Habitat - Found in a variety of habitats from the wet soils of mixed bottomland forests and swamps to dry uplands throughout Florida.

Description - Native tree with a trunk to 24 inches in diameter and to 70 feet tall. Leaves are alternate, ovate to elliptical, shiny green above and light green below, young leaves are pubescent underneath, older leaves often have black spots on upper surface, turning yellow to orange in fall.

Flower - Campulate (bell shaped), a creamy white color in spring, followed by round to slightly flattened berries 1 - 3 inches across, reddish-orange when mature with flat seeds.

Gulf Greytwig - Schoepfia chrysophylloides

Gulf greytwig

Family - Olacaceae

Habitat - Hammocks, Shell mounds

Description - Endangered. Small Florida native tree or a large shrub, endemic to Florida within the U.S.. To 20 feet tall with an equal spread. Graytwig leaves are somewhat thin, elliptic with entire margins, alternate arrangement, drab green on upper surface & lighter green on undersides. Small red to orange flowers produced from leaf axils year-round in S. Florida, with peak flowering in spring & fall.

Devil's walking-stick - Aralia spinosa

Devil's walkingstick Devil's walkingstick fruit

Family - Araliaceae

Aralia spinosa shares common names with Zanthoxylum clava-herculis, another native armed with spines on the trunk & branches. Devil's walking-stick grows as a deciduous shrub or small tree and can reach heights of 35 feet under ideal conditions.

This plant is usually found in coastal areas that have been disturbed by human activity or in clearings created by fire, as it is intolerant of shade. Small white flowers are produced in large clusters at the branch tips in summer, are quite showy and very attractive to honey bees.

The small berries are purple to black when mature and although readily consumed by birds and other wildlife, are mildly toxic to humans. Leaves are large, bipinnately compound and even these are armed with sharp prickles.

Red Mulberry - Morus rubra

Image - Red Mulberry (Morus rubra L) Red mulberry tree

Family - Moraceae

Habitat - Hammocks, Bottomland Forests, Upland Forests, Floodplains, Flatwoods.

Description - Native shrub or tree to 65 feet, typically with a low branching habit, irregular grey-brown bark sometimes orange tinged in young trees, bark becoming ridged in older trees.

Leaf form is variable, alternate, simple, margins serrate, may be un-lobed or deeply lobed, green above with a rough, scabrous texture, paler green and fuzzy on lower surface.

Flower - Pale green hanging catkins, 1-2 inches long. Fruit is a cylindrical, cluster of black drupes to 1 1/4 inch long, resembling blackberries.