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Conocarpus erectus (Button mangrove)
Cressler, Alan

Conocarpus erectus

Conocarpus erectus L.

Button Mangrove, Buttonwood

Combretaceae (Indian 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.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 60 feet tall.

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.
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.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Research Literature

Reslit 606 - Ecology, production and use of mangrove, Conocarpus erectus L., in Barra de Tecoanapa (Guerrero, Mexico) (1999) C. T. Hernandez and G. D. Espino
Reslit 985 - Ten new microsatellite markers for the buttonwood mangrove (Conocarpus erectus L., Combretaceae) (2008) A. Nettel, R. S. Dodd, J. A. Cid-Becerra and J. de...
Reslit 1317 - Stomatal conductance and gas exchange in four species of Caribbean mangroves exposed to ambient and increased CO2 (1998) S. C. Snedaker and R. J. Araujo
Reslit 1331 - Intense disturbance enhances plant susceptibility to herbivory: Natural and experimental evidence (2003) D. A. Spiller and A. A. Agrawal
Reslit 1995 - Egg distribution and sampling of Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera : Curculionidae) on silver buttonwood (2007) J. E. Pena, D. Amalin, A. Hunsberger and C. Mannio...
Reslit 2021 - Studies on Propagation and Implantation Characteristics of Conocarpus erectus L. (1978) D. Mizrachi and F. R. Pannier
Reslit 2034 - Survival of Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larvae on Green Buttonwood Trees in Flooded Marl Soil and Potting Medium (2010) C. G. Martin, C. M. Mannion and B. Schaffer
Reslit 2110 - Effect of root feeding by Diaprepes abbreviatus (Coleoptera : Curculionidae) larvae on leaf gas exchange and growth of three ornamental tree species (2006) A. P. Diaz, C. Mannion and B. Schaffer
Reslit 2381 - Leaf damage in island buttonwood, Conocarpus erectus: correlations with pubescence, island area, isolation and the distribution of major carnivores (1988) T. W. Schoener
Reslit 2471 - Polymorphic buttonwood: Effects of disturbance on resistance to herbivores in green and silver morphs of a Bahamian shrub (2004) A. A. Agrawal and D. A. Spiller

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

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 Modified: 2023-03-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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