Simarouba glauca

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Paradise Tree, Bitterwood


Plant Specifics

Size:30-50 ft tall by up to 30 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:NA
Fruit Color:Purple
Phenology:Evergreen. Inconspicuous blooms in spring. Fruits ripen in summer.
Noted for:Showy fruits, Interesting foliage, Hurricane wind resistance


Recommended Uses:Specimen tree.
Considerations:As the tree matures its roots, which are close to the surface, can become a hazard to paved surfaces by causing upheaval. Frost sensitive, do not plant north of its range. Drops smaller branches when exposed to high winds (this is its protection mechanism for surviving hurricanes, but a bit on the messy side.
Propagation:Seed. Plant when fresh.
Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Seed
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Not wet but not extremely dry ----- to ----- Short very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Not wet but not extremely dry ----- to ----- Short very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Moderate. Tolerant of salty wind and may get some salt spray. Exposure to salt spray would be uncommon (major storms).
Soil or other substrate:Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Broadly tolerant



Fruits eaten and dispersed by birds


Pollinated by bees

Native Habitats:Coastal hammocks extending up the coast to mid-peninsula in coastal hammocks.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures