Gumbo Limbo
Bursera simaruba

Gumbo Limbo

Gumbo limbo is a fast growing tree up to 60 feet tall.

The red peeling bark is attractive and mixes well with simpson stopper and soldier wood that also have peeling bark.

Gumbo limbo is native from the Keys, following the coastline, to Brevard Co. It likes average to dry soil and is tolerant of salt air, yet not inundation by salt water for long periods.

The red covered seeds are eaten by the great crested flycatcher in the spring and the leaves are a food source for the larva of the dingy purplewing butterfly.

For a coastal hardwood hammock theme this is one of the best trees to start with. Buy seedlings, which have better growth structure than rooted branches and survive hurricanes better. Mix with wild coffee, firebush, coontie, wild plumbago and marlberry and other hammock trees including pigeon plum, mastic, paradise tree and blolly.

The Spiraling Whitefly is a new problem on this and other plants. It is not killing these trees and is even providing food for migrating warblers. Hopefully an insect that preys on this pest will be introduced soon.