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Native Trees & Shrubs of Florida

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

On this page - Rough Velvetseed, Florida Boxwood, Pyramid Bush, Pineland Croton, Scorpions-tail, Pineland Strongbark, Button Sage, Seacoast Marshelder, Saltwort

Click any image for a larger version

Rough Velvetseed (Guettarda scabra L.)

Family - Rubiaceae

Rough Velvetseed grows as a small tree or large shrub to about 15 feet in height, and is native to S. Florida. Leaves are oval, 2-4 inches long and covered with short stiff hairs, and are rough to the touch. Tubular white flowers are produced year-round, followed by roundish red berries covered with a velvety pubescence.

Rough Velvetseed can be found in moist to fairly dry soils in Pinelands and Hammocks of the Keys, Monroe, Dade, Palm Beach and Martin counties as an understory shrub or small tree.

Florida Boxwood (Schaefferia frutescens)

Family - Celastraceae

This Florida native grows as a small tree or multi-stemmed shrub to 20 feet. The bark is light brown and smooth, becoming gray and furrowed with age. Leaves are elliptical to obovate, alternate, 2 -3 inches long and are light green in color. Flowers are small, light yellowish green in color and are produced in clusters at the leaf axils.

Endangered within the state of Florida, this tree is also is found throughout parts of the Caribbean and South America.

Pyramid Bush, Melochia tomentosa Flowers of the Pyramid Bush, Melochia tomentosa This plant attracts Butterflies.

Pyramid Bush  (Melochia tomentosa)

Family - Sterculiaceae

Related to chocolate plants, the Pyramid Bush is a small native shrub of dry Pinelands in South Florida. Also known as Tea Bush, Wooly Pyramid, and Broom Weed this plant is gaining popularity as a Florida landscape shrub because it grows well in dry, harsh conditions and produces flowers from spring through winter. Attractive to Butterflies and Humming birds, the flowers range from pinkish to almost purple, the lanceolate leaves have serrated margins, are covered in short soft hairs and have a silver gray hue.

Pineland croton, Croton linearis Pineland croton white flowers This plant attracts Butterflies.

Pineland Croton (Croton linearis)

Family - Euphorbiaceae

Limited to the southern most part of Florida and the Florida Keys, Pineland Croton is a clump forming , many stemmed, sprawling shrub.

Growing to about 6 feet tall, Pineland Croton is found primarily in Pine Rockland habitat, it has also been found in Palm beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties.

Habit of growth is as a thin stemmed sprawling shrub. Leaves are alternate, simple with entire margins, linear, dark green above and silvery on the bottom, 3-4 inches long. Flowers are small, white and are produced year-round on racemes.

This plant attracts Butterflies.

Scorpions-tail (Heliotropium angiospermum Murray)

Family - Boraginaceae

The Scorpions-tail is a 1 - 3 foot tall, native herbaceous plant with a woody base and a somewhat sprawling habit of growth.

Range is from the upper Keys north to around Jacksonville on the east coast and Tampa on the west.

Scorpions-tail is found mainly as an understory plant in Hammocks near the coast. This plant is used by many butterflies as a nectar plant.

This plant attracts Butterflies.

Pineland Strongbark, Little Strongbark (Bourreria cassinifolia)

Family - Boraginaceae

Rare native shrub, also known as Strongback. Found in Monroe and Miami-Dade counties in Pine rockland habitat, grows to 10 feet or less in height, usually with many stems.

Leaves are alternate, variable, elliptical to ovate with entire margins. Flowers are white, tubular with five petals followed by orange fruit.

Button sage plant, ( Lantana involucrata) Button sage flowers. Button sage flowers and fruit. This plant attracts Butterflies.

Button Sage, Wild Sage, White Lantana (Lantana involucrata L.)

Family - Verbenaceae

This native Lantana is primarily found growing near the coast at the margins of Hammocks, behind the dune line and in the Pine Rocklands habitat of extreme S. Florida.

Leaves are pale green, opposite, simple, oval with slightly crenate or toothed margins, covered with small hairs, rough to the touch, less than 1 1/2 inches in length. Leaves have a sage like smell when crushed. Plant is 7 feet or less in height with a open habit of growth and thin stems.

Flowers are produced year-round in clusters and are white, often with a lavender or or pale bluish tint. Fruit is a small purple drupe. Button sage is a nectar plant for many Butterflies.

Seacoast marshelder-Iva imbricata Close-up of Seacoast marshelder flowers

Seacoast Marshelder, Beach Elder (Iva imbricata)

Family - Asteraceae

Small native perennial shrub, sub-shrub found in coastal strand and beach dune habitat. The Seacoast Marshelder is an important pioneer plant that grows in direct contact with salt spray and helps to bind dunes and prevent erosion. 2-3 feet tall with a spreading habit of growth, the stems root when they contact the sand.

Leaves are succulent, smooth, light green with entire margins, up to 2 inches long, plant stems are reddish when young and turn tan as they age. Flowers are small and green. Seacoast marshelder is found in most (possibly all) coastal counties throughout Florida.

Saltwort plant (Batis maritima) Saltwort flowers (Batis maritima)

Saltwort, Turtleweed  (Batis maritima L.)

Family- Bataceae

Subshrub. This native perennial colonizes areas that are occasionally inundated or directly in contact with brackish/salt water, or direct salt spray.

Able to sequester salt away in its leaf cells, Saltwort then sheds the leaf and the excess salt. This gives this plant the ability to grow in places where not many other plants can compete with it.

Saltwort can be found on brackish water river banks, beach dunes, in salt marshes and Mangrove swamps on both the east and west coast of Florida.

Habit of growth is as a sprawling shrub, rarely exceeding 2-3 feet in height. Stems root where they contact soil, older stems are woody, bright green leaves are linear, opposite, succulent with smooth margins. White to yellowish flowers are produced on small spikes in spring and summer. Rough textured, green, berry like fruit.

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

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