Non-Native to Florida
Download a page (PDF 159 KB) from Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition, by K.A. Langeland, H.M. Cherry, et al. University of Florida-IFAS Pub SP 257. 2008.
For control information, see Integrated Management of Nonnative Plants in Natural Areas of Florida (SP 242)
Date of introduction to Florida: 1883 (agriculture)
(from Strangers in Paradise, Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida, Chapter 2: Florida’s Invasion by Nonindigenous Plants: History, Screening, and Regulation, by D.R. Gordon and K.P. Thomas, pp. 21-37. Island Press, Washington, DC, 1997.)
The huge sapodilla tree provides much shade, and is prized by some, but it is a non-native on the Florida EPPC List #1. It is occasionally found in hammocks and disturbed sites of Lee and Palm Beach Counties (Wunderlin, 2003). It is native to Central America.
Appearance: Evergreen tree to about 20 m (66 ft) high with stout trunk. Branchlets brownish-hairy.
Leaves: Alternate and often crowded at end of branchlets; young leaves are downy and brownish beneath.
Flowers: White on long stalks from leaf axils, tubular; tube up to 5 mm (0.2 in) long, 6-lobed.
Fruit: Brown with rough skin, up to 8 cm (3 in) across; brownish, mealy pulp; containing hard black seeds.
Ecological threat: FLEPPC Category I – Invasive exotics that are altering native plant communities by displacing native species, changing community structures or ecological functions, or hybridizing with natives.
Distribution: SW, SE
Text from Invasive and Non-Native Plants You Should Know, Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey, 2007. UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Publ. No. SP 431.
See the UF/IFAS Assessment, which lists plants according to their invasive status in Florida.