buttonwood Combretaceae Conocarpus
erectus L. symbol: COER2
Leaf: Evergreen, alternate, thick and leathery, with an entire margin, generally oval but variable, to 4 inches long and 2 inches wide, green and glabrous or silvery hairy (var. sericeus) above and below.
Flower: Occuring in dense 1/2 inch round heads on a 2 to 4 inch branched panicles, yellow-green, individual flowers tiny with 5 petals, blooming throughout the year.
Fruit: A tightly-packed multiple of 2-winged achens, cone-like and round, up to 1 inch in diameter, purple-brown to red-brown and darkening with age, borne on a 2-4 inch branched panicles, ripening throughout the year.
Twig: Slender, green to gray-brown, may be glabrous or pubescent, may be angled or winged.
Bark: Initially smooth and gray, developing scaly-topped ridges and darkening with age.
Form: Usually a broadly spreading shrub to 20 feet, occasionally a small tree to 50 feet.
Looks like: black mangrove - white mangrove - red mangrove - pond apple
Additional Range Information: Conocarpus erectus is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting buttonwood.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson