Litsea aestivalis

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Plant Specifics

Size:15 (30) ft
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Greenish yellow
Fruit Color:Red
Noted for:-


Recommended Uses:Wetland areas where the goal is to attract birds.
Availability:Native nurseries, Seed
Light: Part Shade,  Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding)
Moisture Tolerance: Stays Wet ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Organic material (muck), Sand
Soil pH:Acidic



Fruits eaten by birds and mammals.


Attracts flies and small bees. 

A likely host for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly.

Native Habitats:Near the edges of forested wetlands and some seasonal ponds wtih open centers.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

Litsea aestivalis is listed as Endangered by the State of Florida.  Since that listing, the laurel wilt disease has come to Florida, and is known to kill this species.   It is likely best to plant this plant only if the stock is known to be disease free, and only if planting it is not likely to provide new hosts for the disease.  As with any Endangered species, please acquire only from reputable nurseries with appropriate licences to grown and sell this species.

The documented range of this species suggests that the occurrence is sparse, but fairly broad in the northern half of Florida.  It is also a plant that is easily overlooked and that may have a wider range than that suggested by documentation from herbarium specimens given that much of its habitat has likely been eliminated by forestry practices.  It is also probably that the range is becoming sparser due to laurel wilt.