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Native Trees & Shrubs of Florida

Native Trees & Shrubs - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

On this page - Reticulate Pawpaw, Bigflower Pawpaw, Buttonbush, Coin Vine, Southern Dewberry, American Beautyberry, Indigo Bush, Coral Bean, Doctorbush, Gopher Apple, Jamaica caper

Click any image for a larger version

Image - Reticulate pawpaw (Asimina reticulata)

Reticulate Pawpaw, Netted Pawpaw - Asimina reticulata

Family - Annonaceae

Habitat - Flatwoods.

Description -  Florida native plant, endemic perennial shrub to about 5 feet tall, long petioles, leaf oblong to obovate, margins in-rolled.

Bigflower Pawpaw Paw-paw fruit

Bigflower Pawpaw - Asimina obovata

Family - Annonaceae

Habitat - Flatwoods, scrub

Description - Endemic native Florida perennial shrub.

Common buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) Common buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

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.

Coin Vine (Dalbergia ecastaphyllum (L.)Taub) Coin Vine (Dalbergia ecastaphyllum (L.)Taub) Detail

Coin Vine, Coinvine - Dalbergia ecastaphyllum

Family - Fabaceae

Habitat - Coastal strand, Coastal hammocks, Borders of Mangrove swamps, River and stream banks.

Description - Native. Perennial, sprawling shrub or trailing vine. Leaves alternate, leathery, sparsely pubescent on top and bottom

Flower - Small 1/4 inch white flowers in clusters at leaf axils. Fruit is a copper colored round pod.

Image - Southern Dewberry (Rubus trivialis) Southern dewberry fruit

Southern Dewberry - Rubus trivialis

Family - Rosaceae

Habitat - Open dry to moist flatwoods, roadsides, thickets, disturbed areas

Description - Perennial, Subshrub, Vine. Stems of variable length, sprawling, woody, barbed, hairy. Leaves palmately compound, toothed margins, prickly.

Flower - 1 1/2 inches, 5 petals, white to pinkish. Fruit 1 1/4 inches, purple to black, very similar in appearance to a blackberry.

American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana L) American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana L.)

American Beautyberry - Callicarpa americana

Family - Verbenaceae

Habitat - Common to woodlands and hammocks statewide.

Description - Native perennial shrub, 6 to 8 feet tall

Flower - Small lilac flowers in spring produce clusters of bright violet to purple 1/4 inch drupes.

Image - Indigo Bush (Amorpha fruticosa)

Indigo Bush - Amorpha fruticosa

Family - Fabaceae

Habitat - Stream, creek and pond banks, wet flatwoods, floodplains of rivers, hydric hammocks

Description - Perennial, Deciduous shrub 3-10 feet high. Compound leaves, 4-8 inches long with 11 to 25 ovate to oblong leaflets, highly variable leaf shape. 

Flower - Scented spike, 3 - 6 inches long, purplish-blue with orange antlers

  Picture of Coral Bean leaf

Cherokee Bean, Coral Bean - Erythrina herbacea

Family - Fabaceae

Habitat - Pineland clearings, Coastal Hammocks

Description - Native. Perennial Tree, shrub, sub-shrub to 16 feet in height. Leaves 7-8 inches long, alternate, compound with 3 ovate to cordate (arrowhead) shaped leaflets.

Brilliant red tubular flowers in spring & summer, 2 1/2 inches long borne on tall racemes. Fruit is a narrow pod to about 8 inches, constricted around the bright red seeds inside. Attracts Butterflies & Hummingbirds.
Note - Seeds are very toxic!

Doctorbush (Plumbago scandens L) Doctorbush (Plumbago scandens L)

Doctorbush, White Leadwort - Plumbago scandens

Family - Plumbaginaceae

Habitat - Hammocks, Thickets, Shell mounds, rocky areas

Description - Florida native perennial shrub or vine, leaves variable. Distinguished by the unusual stalked glands along length of flower tube ribs. Flowers year round in S. Florida.

Image - Gopher apple (Licania michauxii Prance)

Gopher Apple, Ground-Oak - Licania michauxii

Family - Chrysobalanaceae

Habitat - Scrub, Sandhill, Pine flatwoods

Description - Native perennial, shrub, sub-shrub 3 to 12 inches in height. Stout, underground stems (rhizomes) from which it produces slender aerial shoots. The oblong stiff leaves are 1-4 inches long, 1-11/2 inches wide, lime green in color and have an oblong spatulate shape. The underside of these leaves are glabrous or finely pubescent, margins are shallowly undulate to entire.

Flower - Inconspicuous, green flowers in summer and are followed by purplish-brown ellipsoid drupes that are 1/2 to 1 inches long. Important food source for the Gopher Tortoise and many other animals.

Jamaica caper-tree, Capparis cynophallophora

Family - Capparaceae

Habitat - Coastal Scrub & Hammocks of South Florida.

Description - The Jamaica caper is a slow growing native tree that grows as a large shrub / small tree to a maximum height of about 20 feet, the stiff dark green leaves are 2-4 inches long and have bronze colored undersides. When grown in full sun the vase shaped canopy is very dense, as the amount of sunlight it receives decreases the canopy becomes more open and spreading.

Flower - Fragrant white flowers are produced primarily in spring with occasional flowers possible throughout the year, flowers turn pinkish-purple after opening and are followed by brown, fuzzy seed pods 2-7 inches long. These seed pods split open to reveal a fleshy orange inside with several 1/4 inch round, black seeds which several species of birds consume whole.

Native Trees & Shrubs - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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