Common Name: Buttonwood
Habit: Conocarpus erectus
grows as a small shrub to large tree up to 20 meters in height. The
leaves are arranged alternately, oval and up to ten cm long and can
be covered with either a gray pubescence or be completely glabrous.
The petioles have two glands at the leaf base.
The flowers occur in heads that are
arranged in a racemous fashion. The calyx has five partially fused
sepals. The corolla is absent and there are five stamens. The floral
parts are all pubescent. The fruit is a drupe producing a flat
Habitat: Conocarpus erectus
occurs near saline environments along shorelines and interior ponds
but typically only in locations that have occasional flooding. They
can also grow in upland areas when planted.
Distribution in Bahamas/Globally:
Conocarpus erectus occurs throughout the islands of the
Bahamas, Florida, the Caribbean, Central and South America as well as
Cultural usage/Economic value:
Conocarpus erectus is widely used in the horticultural trade
because of the silvery appearance of its leaves. The wood has been
used for charcoal production because of how dense it is as well as in
boat construction because of its durability in saline environments.
It is also used as a fuel source for smoking fish and barbequing
because of its unique flavor. It has been used medicinally to treat
sores and cuts as well as to cause “cascading” (vomiting).