ENH338/ST179: Conocarpus erectus: Buttonwood

ENH338/ST179: Conocarpus erectus: Buttonwood

Edward F. Gilman, Dennis G. Watson, Ryan W. Klein, Andrew Okay. Koeser, Deborah R. Hilbert, and Drew C. McLean2


This low-branching, multi-trunked, shrubby, evergreen tree has glaucous medium-green leaves. The inconspicuous, small, greenish flowers seem in dense cone-like heads in terminal panicles in spring and are adopted by 1/2-inch, cone-like, red-brown fruits. The darkish brown engaging bark is ridged and scaly. The tree is ‘clear’ with small leaves which fall between the grass blades of the garden or are simply washed away within the rain.

Determine 1. 

Full Type—Conocarpus erectus: Buttonwood

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Normal Info

Scientific identify: Conocarpus erectus

Pronunciation: kawn-oh-KAR-pus ee-RECK-tus

Widespread identify(s): Buttonwood

Household: Combretaceae

USDA hardiness zones: 10B by way of 11 (Determine 2)

Origin: native to Florida, the Caribbean, and South America

UF/IFAS Invasive Evaluation Standing: native

Makes use of: specimen; avenue with out sidewalk; display; deck or patio; hedge; reclamation; car parking zone island < 100 sq ft; parking lot island 100–200 sq ft; parking lot island > 200 sq ft; sidewalk cutout (tree pit); tree garden 3–Four toes vast; tree garden 4–6 toes vast; tree garden > 6 ft vast; city tolerant; freeway median; bonsai; shade

Determine 2. 


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Peak: 30 to 45 toes

Unfold: 20 to 30 toes

Crown uniformity: symmetrical

Crown form: vase, spreading

Crown density: reasonable

Progress charge: reasonable

Texture: positive


Leaf association: alternate

Leaf kind: easy

Leaf margin: whole

Leaf form: lanceolate, rectangular

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf kind and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade size: 1 to Four inches

Leaf shade: darkish inexperienced and easy

Fall shade: no shade change

Fall attribute: not showy

Determine 3. 

Leaf—Conocarpus erectus: Buttonwood

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Flower shade: inexperienced

Flower traits: not showy; emerge in clusters on spherical, compact heads which are organized on branched panicles

Flowering: spring to early fall

Determine 4. 

Flower—Conocarpus erectus: Buttonwood

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Fruit form: spherical

Fruit size: ½ inch

Fruit overlaying: dry or laborious

Fruit shade: purple-brown, crimson

Fruit traits: doesn’t entice wildlife; showy; fruit/leaves not a litter downside

Fruiting: year-round

Determine 5. 

Fruit—Conocarpus erectus: Buttonwood

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/branches: branches droop; showy; usually multi-trunked; no thorns

Bark: grey and easy, changing into scaly, fissured, and darker with age

Pruning requirement: wanted for sturdy construction

Breakage: resistant

Present yr twig shade: inexperienced

Present yr twig thickness: skinny

Wooden particular gravity: unknown

Determine 6. 

Bark—Conocarpus erectus: Buttonwood

Credit score:

Gritta Hasing

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


Mild requirement: full solar

Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; alkaline; acidic; moist; well-drained

Drought tolerance: excessive

Aerosol salt tolerance: excessive


Roots: not an issue

Winter curiosity: no

Excellent tree: no

Ozone sensitivity: unknown

Verticillium wilt susceptibility: unknown

Pest resistance: free of significant pests and ailments

Use and Administration

Able to reaching a top of 40 toes with a 20-foot unfold, buttonwood is commonly seen as a small, considerably asymmetrical shrub however is right to be used as a display, clipped hedge, or specimen planting. The species is much less widespread and grows taller than the silver buttonwood. Because of the engaging bark and mushy foliage, a multi-stemmed specimen could make a pleasant patio or avenue tree. Planted within the open as a tree, buttonwood will develop to about 20 to 25 toes tall and vast, and can usually tackle a picturesque, contorted look when uncovered to fixed seashore winds, creating a beautiful specimen. The crown is extra symmetrical 1/2 mile or extra from the coast or on the inland facet of a tall ocean-front constructing. The wooden of buttonwood was previously used for firewood, cabinetwork, and charcoal making and may be very sturdy. It is a perfect wooden for smoking meats and fish. Included or embedded bark usually develops in main department crotches, however the sturdy wooden seems to compensate for this potential defect. Bushes are powerful and long-lasting within the panorama.

A Florida native, buttonwood is right for seaside plantings as it’s extremely tolerant of full solar, sandy soils, and salty circumstances. It additionally tolerates brackish areas and alkaline soils, thriving within the damaged shade and moist soils of hammocks. It is a powerful tree! It withstands the trials of city circumstances very effectively and makes a sturdy avenue or car parking zone tree. As a consequence of its small dimension, plant on 15-foot facilities to kind a closed cover alongside a avenue. Buy single-trunked timber for avenue and car parking zone plantings.

The cultivar ‘Mombo’ has a dense crown and could also be smaller than the species, 15 to 20 toes tall.


Sucking insect secretions will lead to issues with sooty mildew on timber inland from the coast.


No ailments are of main concern.


Koeser, A. Okay., Hasing, G., Friedman, M. H., and Irving, R. B. 2015. Bushes: North & Central Florida. Gainesville: College of Florida Institute of Meals and Agricultural Sciences.

U.S. Division of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, College of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M College Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.

Author: admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *