Bay cedar
Suriana maritima

Bay Cedar

Bay cedar is one of our most salt tolerant shrubs. It is found mixed with sea oats or along the edge of salt marshes from the Keys to as far north as Indian River County. It tolerates salt breezes and some salt water flooding during storms. The soil must be moist and well drained with low to moderate amounts of organic matter.

The small yellow flowers produce quarter inch cups with three seeds in them. Although the seeds germinate quickly, they die very easily, which makes propagation difficult.

The normal size is less than six feet although with proper care they can reach ten feet or more. The larvae of the mallow and the martial scrub hairstreak butterflies feed on the foliage.

Mix with sea lavender, joewood, beach elder, native scaevola, beach cocolum, prickly pear cactus, Key lily, and sea purslane. It needs moist, not wet, soil or extra watering and fertilizer if planted inland, yet no extra care if planted along the coast on the ocean side of the dune.