Alphabetical Plant Listing

Conocarpus erectus (Buttonwood)

Button Mangrove, Buttonwood, Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus


Tough and long-lasting, Conocarpus erectus (Buttonwood) is an evergreen, spreading shrub to low-branching tree with a picturesque, twisted trunk and a narrow rounded crown. The smooth pinnate leaves are small, up to 4 in. long (10 cm), lanceolate, glaucous medium-green. Blooming from spring to fall, inconspicuous greenish flowers emerge in dense cone-like heads in terminal panicles. The flowers attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators. They are followed by small, button-like, purplish-brown fruits. The showy fruits do not attract wildlife. They burst open when ripe, and their seeds are dispersed by water. Gray and smooth in youth, the bark becomes darker, rough, furrowed and thick with age. It provides an ideal substratum for the attachment of bromeliads and orchids. Native to Florida, the Caribbean, and South America, Buttonwood is an excellent accent plant with its contorted appearance when exposed to constant seashore winds. It can be pruned into a screen or clipped hedge. Buttonwood is also ideal for seaside landscapes since it is highly tolerant of salt and drought. Noted for its hurricane resistance, Buttonwood tolerates urban conditions very well and makes a durable street or parking lot tree. The strong wood of Buttonwood was formerly used for firewood, cabinetwork, and charcoal making.

  • Grows up to 20-40 ft. tall and wide (6-12 m).
  • Performs best in full sun in clay to sandy, dry to wet soils. Highly drought tolerant, this plant is also tolerant of frequent inundation, salt spray, salty wind and salty soil.
  • No serious disease issues. Keep an eye out for dry-wood termites.
  • Will tolerate shearing.
  • Propagate by seeds or cuttings.
  • Native to Florida, the Caribbean, and South America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' – 40' (6m – 12m)
Spread 20' – 40' (6m – 12m)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Florida
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Salt, Wet Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden

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Pomme Home, Holly Guerrio, Magsi, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' – 40' (6m – 12m)
Spread 20' – 40' (6m – 12m)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Florida
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Salt, Wet Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden

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