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Bursera simaruba (L.) Sarg.
Gumbo limbo, Gumbo-limbo
Synonym(s): Elaphrium simaruba, Pistacia simaruba
USDA Symbol: BUSI
The most characteristic and attractive feature of this 60 ft., deciduous tree is neither the flower nor the glossy, pinnate leaves but the smooth, lustrous coppery bark of the older stems. Crown spreading, rounded; branches large, crooked; trunk stout. On large trees, the bark often hangs in thin, papery strips. The trunk is topped by massive branches which spread out at side angles and have many stout branchlets.
The Gumbo Limbo is a member of the torchwood or bursera family (family Burseraceae) of trees and shrubs, many with smooth bark and aromatic resin. There are about 500 species in tropical regions, especially America and northeastern Africa. The Gumbo Limbo is one of only three native tree species in North America.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr
DistributionUSA: FL Native Distribution:
S. & c. FL Native Habitat:
Coastal hammocks & shell mounds
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: The dense, summertime foliage creates good shade.
PropagationDescription: Propagation is easy. Branches of any size take root readily when stuck in the ground. Trees grown from seed usually have a better shape, and the growth rate of seedlings is rapid.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff