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Last Update 06/03/08

Florida Native Plant Section

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Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus

 Silver Buttonwood, Button Mangrove

Buttonwood gets its name from the brownish-red fruits which are cone-like and referred to as buttons. Silver Buttonwood is a naturally occurring variety of Buttonwood and gets its name from the layer of soft white hairs covering its leaves which give them a silvery color when seen from a distance. Normally Silver Buttonwood grows as a multi-trunked small tree but in ideal situations it can grow to be over 40 feet tall with a crown spread of over 40 feet. If properly pruned the Silver Buttonwood makes a wonderful hedge and is an excellent plant to use in seaside settings and near salt water as it has a high tolerance to salt spray and good tolerance to salt in the soil.

Silver Buttonwood


Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus leaves. Click to enlarge.

Click image above for a closer view.

Buttonwood "Buttons" or "fruit"

Plant Facts:

Common Name:   Silver Buttonwood, Button Mangrove

Botanical Name:   Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus

Plant Type:  Evergreen tree

Zones: 10-11

Height:  40', medium growth rate

Soil Requirements:  Various, an ideal plant for problem soils.

Water Requirements: High drought tolerance also high flooding tolerance.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Leaves:  Alternate, blue or blue-green; silver, lanceolate; oblong, 2-3" long

Flowers: Inconspicuous, purple; white.

Fruit: Small, oval, dry-hard, red-brown.

Uses:  Good shade tree or hedge for all locations especially locations near bodies of salt water. Makes a great small tree for plants near streets or sidewalks or yards with small or narrow yards. The wood of Silver Buttonwood was formerly used for firewood, cabinetwork, and charcoal making and is very strong. It is an ideal wood for smoking meats and fish.

Propagation:  Seeds, cuttings.

Source:  Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson, Fact Sheet ST-180 Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus Silver Buttonwood, USDA Forest Service

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