Southern Florida Trees and Shrubs

Acer rubrum, variety trilobum is the common Red Maple. Red for the brilliant reds it produces in the fall. This beautiful Maple is often found growing right in the water at the edges of ponds or streams.

Annnona glabra is a medium sized tree of between 40 and 50 feet. More commonly called Pond Apple. Its fruit can be eaten though it is not as good as other members of this family.

Cephalanthus occidentalis is commonly called Buttonbush for good reason. It's white, little ball-like flowers do indeed resemble buttons. They bloom in they late summer to early fall. Cephalanthus occidentalis grows up to six feet tall and is favored by many songbirds as a nesting site.

Chrysobalanus icaco is one of two Cocoplums that grow wild in Southern Florida. Cocoplums generally stay under 3 feet tall, with sweet fruits used in jams. Oddly enough a compound known as Diterpene was isolated from the plants that is being used in anti-HIV research.

Ilex cassine is a shrub or small tree, normally called Dahoon Holly. Dahoon grows to about 30 feet and blooms with tiny white flowers in the spring. In the fall and winter it is covered, like any other holly, in bright red berries. it tolerates shade well and, of course, standing water.

Ilex glabra is another small holly bush, known commonly as Galberry or Inkberry. Galberry grows three to six feet tall and boast black berries on the female shrubs. Ilex glabra is a good source of honey, but the fruit should not be eaten as they are mildly toxic.

Magnolia virginiana is better known as Sweetbay Magnolia, or Laurel Magnolia. Sweetbay blooms with beautiful, creamy flowers that smell of lemon. Magnolia grows up 20 feet and does very well in the shade. Its seed is often eaten by turkey, quail or other songbirds. Sweetbay also plays host to the beautiful Swallowtail Butterfly.

Myrica cerifera has several common names including, Southern Wax Myrtle, Southern Bayberry, and Candleberry for its wax, once used to make candles. Bayberry is a small tree, 3 to 8 feet tall. Both sexes are on the same tree which produces globular berries. Bayberry is used in homeopathic therapy.

Myrsine floridana is better known as Myrsine. Myrsine provides cover nesting sites and food for song birds.

Sabal palmetto is a large palm tree also found in Australia. Sabal palmetto is also known as Cabbage Palm or Sabal Palm. Cabbage Palm grows from 12 to 18 fee tall. This beautiful palm boasts early spring flowers which in turn bear dark fruit in the early winter.

Salix caroliniana is a willow tree more commonly known as the Coastal Plains WIllow, or Swamp Willow. Plains Willow can grows to 30 feet tall and enjoys rocky habitats along streams and gravel bars. Swamp Willow flowers in early may and fruits shortly after.

Sambucus canadensis blooms from May all the way through to August. It's beautiful little white flowers brighten any landscape. American Elderberry produces an edible berry often used in pies. The flowers and the fruit are both used to make wine. Be aware though, that there is a slight toxicity. Elderberry grows from three to twelve feet tall.

Serenoa repens ia another small palm common in Florida, known as the Saw Palmetto. Saw Palmetto grows from four to eight feet tall with small black fruits. This palm serves a variety of medicinal purposes.

Taxodium ascendens is known as the beautiful Pond Cypress. Pond Cypress grows 50 to 75 feet tall. Beautiful as all the rest this Cypress will complement a large rain garden or wet meadow in southern Florida.