buckthorn bumelia Sapotaceae Sideroxylon
lycioides L. symbol: SILY
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen to deciduous farther north, obovate, ovate, or nearly lanceolate, entire, wedge-shaped at both tips, with a milky sap when broken, to 6 inches, shiny dark green above, paler and may be somewhat pubescent below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; white, and round-clustered, tiny individual flowers with 5 petals, early to midsummer.
Fruit: Egg-shaped and shiny, red ripening to nearly black fleshy fruits, 1/2 inch long, ripening in the fall.
Twig: Slender, spur shoots present, buds dome-shaped to conical and yellow-green, leaf scars circular, with a milky sap when broken. Twigs often armed with stout, unbranched 1 inch thorns at each leaf scar.
Bark: Initially smooth, becoming broken and then scaly, older trees scaly and shedding to reveal red inner bark.
Form: Shrub or small tree to 30 feet.
Looks like: gum bumelia - osage-orange - common buckthorn - blackgum
Additional Range Information: Sideroxylon lycioides is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information