Florida Native Trees & Shrubs
Page 5

On this page - Geiger Tree, Groundsel tree, Firebush, Coco Plum, Deerberry, Fetterbush, Staggerbush, Buttonbush

Geiger Tree - Cordia sebestena

Geiger tree Geiger tree flowers

Family - Boraginaceae

Habitat - Coastal strand, Coastal hammocks in southern most Florida counties

Description - 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

Groundsel tree (Baccharis halimifolia) Groundsel tree flowers Groundsel tree leaf detail

Family - Asteraceae

Habitat - Margins of fresh and salt marshes, wet woodland forests

Description - 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

Firebush (Hamelia patens Jacq) Firebush flowers

Family - Rubiaceae

Habitat - Open areas in woodlands, margins of hammocks, coastal strand.

Description - 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

Image - Coco Plum (Chrysobalanus icaco L) Image - Coco Plum fruit Cocoplum shrub

Family - Chrysobalanaceae

Habitat - Coastal swamps, coastal scrub, bay swamps, cypress domes.

Description - 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.

Flowers white, (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 appearance.

Deerberry - Vaccinium stamineum

Image - Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum L)

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.

Shiny Lyonia, Fetterbush - Lyonia lucida

Fetterbush Fetterbush

Family - Ericaceae

Habitat - Found throughout Florida, prefers moist sites; Wet Flatwoods, margins of ponds, swamps & marshes,

Description - 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.

Rusty Lyonia, Staggerbush - Lyonia ferruginea

Image - Rusty Lyonia (Lyonia ferruginea)

Family - Ericaceae ( Heath family )

Habitat - Pine Flatwoods, Scrub

Description - 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

Common buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) Common 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.

Flower - White, fragrant in 1 1/2 inch, round, tightly packed clusters.