On this page - Geiger Tree, Groundsel tree, Firebush, Coco Plum, Deerberry, Fetterbush, Staggerbush, Buttonbush
Geiger Tree - Cordia sebestena
Coastal strand, Coastal hammocks in southern most Florida counties
The Geiger tree is widely considered to be a Florida native tree
although it is more likely an introduced species. Slow growing to a
height of 25 feet with an equal spread the Geiger tree has large,
alternately arranged rough textured dark green leaves with undulate
margins. Attractive orange flowers are produced the year round and
are profuse in the spring & summer.
Groundsel tree - Baccharis halimifolia
Margins of fresh and salt marshes, wet woodland forests
Very common native Florida shrub or small tree to about 14 feet, taller than
broad usually with many branches. Leaves are alternate, pale green with rough
upper surfaces and margins with a few coarse teeth toward the tips, somewhat
obovate to lanceolate in form. Some leaves with entire margins. Flower is
stalked, white to greenish-white, produced on numerous heads in early fall.
Firebush - Hamelia patens
Habitat - Open
areas in woodlands, margins of hammocks, coastal strand.
Native Florida shrub or small tree with multiple trunks to 10 feet or more in
height. Leaves are elliptic with entire margins, leaf margins and veins often
tinged red, usually opposite, sometimes arranged in whorls. Widely used in home, commercial
& municipal landscapes. Attractive to butterflies and birds. The tubular red and
orange flowers are produced year-round.
Coco Plum - Chrysobalanus icaco
Habitat - Coastal
swamps, coastal scrub, bay swamps, cypress domes.
Native shrub or small tree up to 15 feet in height. Leaves are
2 -3 inches, evergreen, simple, alternate, broadly elliptical to nearly round
with smooth entire margins on short petioles.
(may be pink tinged) 1/4 inch borne on short irregularly
branched clusters near ends of branches. Fruit is 1
to 2 inches in diameter, dark purple to nearly black at maturity and has a waxy
Deerberry - Vaccinium stamineum
Family - Ericaceae
Habitat - Pinelands, Hammocks
Description - Native Florida shrub or a small tree. 10-15 feet tall with an equal spread. Leaves are alternate, simple, elliptic to obovate with entire margins, 1-3 inches long, commonly increasing in size toward tips of branches.
Flower - White, campanulate, (bell shaped) from leaf axils on long stalks, with the numerous yellow stamens extending past the corolla. Fruit a berry, whitish blue to deep purple when mature.
Fetterbush - Lyonia lucida
Family - Ericaceae
- Found throughout Florida, prefers moist sites; Wet Flatwoods, margins of
ponds, swamps & marshes,
A sprawling evergreen shrub with long arching stems, averaging three to five feet tall,
sometimes taller. Suckers from roots, forming dense thickets & making it
difficult to traverse, hence the name Fetterbush. Leaves are broadly elliptic to
almost lanceolate, shiny, dark green and 1-3 inches long, leaf margins are
entire with a prominent vein that runs parallel with margins.
In spring, pale to deep pink urn shaped flowers are produced in clusters from
leaf axils on previous seasons growth.
Staggerbush - Lyonia ferruginea
Ericaceae ( Heath family )
Habitat - Pine
Native shrub or small tree. Commonly 3 to 12 feet high, occasionally may grow to
20 feet or more. Typically grows with many crooked or contorted stems that have reddish brown, scaly, ridged bark.
All parts of plant covered with a rusty brown pubescence,
particularly new growth and underside of the 2-4 inch oblanceolate leaves.
Flower - Fragrant,
white, urn or bell shaped in axillary clusters in spring, fruit is a
five-sided ovoid brown capsule1/4 inch long.
Buttonbush - Cephalanthus occidentalis
Family - Rubiaceae
Habitat - Banks of streams, lakes, Swamps and wetlands.
Description - Native perennial shrub to 12 feet, sometimes more with an equal spread. Leaf green,
whorled, margin entire, ovate with pinnate veins, 4 - 8 inches.