Native Trees & Shrubs of Florida
On this page - Pond Apple, Rusty Lyonia, Shiny Lyonia, Paradisetree, Red Mulberry, Deerberry, Chapman's Oak, Marlberry, Coco Plum, Varnishleaf, Dwarf Live Oak
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Pond Apple - Annona glabra
Family - Annonaceae
Habitat - Fresh water Swamps, Wet Forests, Edges of ponds and streams.
Description - Florida native tree. Although it can grow to over 40 feet in height, the Pond Apple is typically smaller. Leaves are leathery, alternate, simple with entire margins, shiny green with pointed apices (tips), leaf margins are generally reflexed upward forming a V from axis.
Rusty Lyonia, Staggerbush - 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.
Shiny Lyonia, Fetterbush - Lyonia lucida
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.
Paradisetree, Bitterwood - 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.
Red Mulberry - Morus rubra
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.
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.
Chapman's Oak - Quercus chapmanii
Family - Fagaceae
Habitat - Sand Pine Scrub, Oak Scrub
Description - Native perennial tree/shrub. Although it can occasionally grow to tree-like proportions (30-50 feet with a 8-10 inch trunk) is commonly found as a shrub in dry scrub. Leaves are alternate, simple, somewhat variable in form; elliptic to obovate or spatulate with entire or shallowly lobed margins. Upper surface dark green, shiny, lower surface slightly pubesent.
Marlberry - Ardisia escallonioides
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.
Coco Plum - Chrysobalanus icaco
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.
Varnishleaf, Florida Hopbush - Dodonaea viscosa
Family - Sapindaceae
Habitat - Coastal Strand, Coastal Hammocks
Description - Native small tree or more commonly a shrub to 10 feet high, occasionally taller. Leaves alternate, obovate, shiny yellowish-green and sticky, 3-6 inches long.
Dwarf Live Oak - Quercus minima
Family - Fagaceae
Habitat - Pinelands, Scrubby flatwoods, Wet flatwoods, Sandhill
Description - Native low growing shrub, sub-shrub, rarely exceeding 3 feet, common at 16-18 inches or less.
Leaves alternate, simple, evergreen, leathery, variable size and shape, 1 to 4 inches long, shiny green above, lower surface (usually) pubescent.
Flower - Early spring, Male- Yellow-green catkins 2-3 inches long, Female - small, inconspicuous in leaf axils.