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Conocarpus erectus

Conocarpus erectus L.

Button mangrove, Buttonwood

Combretaceae (West Indies-Almond Family)

Synonym(s): Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus

USDA Symbol: COER2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I), PR (N), VI (N)

Spreading shrub to low-branching tree with narrow rounded crown; thicket-forming. Button mangrove or buttonwood occurs as an evergreen shrub or tree, growing to 60 ft. with a twisted trunk. The purplish-green, cone-like fruits are about 1/2 in. in diameter. They are preceded by clusters of whitish flowers. Button mangrove has green leaves.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Size Class: 36-72 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec


Native Distribution: S. & c. FL
Native Habitat: Sandy, coastal shores, landward of the tidal mangrove zone

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Wet, sandy to drier, richer soils.
Conditions Comments: Buttonwood occupies the transition between saline and fresh water communities. The scaly-ridged bark provides an ideal substratum for the attachment of bromeliads and orchids. In the landscape, this is a good species for hedges. Ssp. sericea is less cold-hardy than the species.


Description: Propagation by cuttings is relatively easy.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Native Plant Nursery - Sanibel, FL

Additional resources

USDA: Find Conocarpus erectus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Conocarpus erectus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Conocarpus erectus


Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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