|Florida Trees: American Beautyberry-Bay Trees|
A "tree" as described here is defined as a perennial woody stemmed
plant, generally having a single main stem (trunk),13 feet tall or more
at maturity. The term "shrub" denotes a woody stemmed plant usually
having multiple stems (trunks) that never or rarely exceed 13 feet in
height. While in some cases a plant that usually grows as a tree may
assume a shrub-like habit of growth the opposite is also true, some
shrubs will occasionally attain a trees stature. We have listed our
trees and shrubs alphabetically by their common name. All trees of the
same type are listed together (such as all oak trees or all mangrove
trees) With each tree or shrub we have added a photograph for easy
identification, along with a brief description and the scientific name
of the tree.
American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana L.)- Sometimes called the French mulberry, the American beautyberry inhabits relatively open, well drained, rich woodlands and dry hammocks, this native Floridian bush is common in Central Florida. American beautyberry is an outstanding deciduous shrub that grows 6-8 ft tall with a loose, open form and outward pointing branches. This shrub makes a coarse appearance large toothed green to yellow-green leaves 6-8 inches long and pubescent beneath. In springtime, tiny lilac flowers appear. These are held in clusters called cymes that arise from the leaf axils (where the leaf joins the stem). By autumn the flowers give rise to berrylike 1/4 inch drupes in striking metallic shades of magenta and violet in the fall. The beautyberries are packed tightly together in clusters that encircle the stem.
American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) - The genus name for the American Persimmon means "Fruit of the Gods". This is a reference to the delicious golden-orange fruits that often hang on the tree after the leaves drop in autumn. When ripe, these fruits are very sweet. The American Persimmon can make an attractive mid-size yard tree. The large drooping leaves give it a soft look, and the dark checkered bark of mature trees provides winter interest. The bell-shaped pistillate flowers are an appealing creamy-yellow, very fragrant, and an excellent nectar source for honeybees. The tree is tough and adaptable, grows rapidly, and its deep tap root gives it good drought resistance. It can survive in shade, but grows and fruits best in sun.
American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) - Sometimes called the American Planetree, the American Sycamore is a massive tree reaching 75 to 90 feet in height, has a rapid growth rate, and tolerates wet and compacted soil. This deciduous tree has a smooth almost white bark when mature. The bark will flake off in irregular thin pieces which give American Sycamore trees an impressive mottled appearance. Sycamore trees have light green colored leaves that turn golden in the fall providing contrasting fall color. The American Sycamore has moderate water requirements and exhibits a moderate tolerance to salt and alkali soils. It is a very popular city tree for adverse urban conditions and soils. The sycamore grows best in zones 4 through 7, but there are reports of it growing as far north as Minnesota and as far south as Palm Beach, Florida.
Bay Trees- The Loblolly Bay, Swamp Bay, and Sweet Bay are all Florida native. Despite their names, they are not related to each other, but have the same shaped leaves. The name ‘Bay tree’ comes from the spicy Laurel Bay
Sweet Bay (Magnolia virginiana)- Sometimes called the
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