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Gumbo Limbo Tree
Scientific Name: Bursera simaruba (L.)Sarg.
Synonym: Pistacia simaruba, Elaphrium subpubescens, Elaphrium ovalifolium, Terebinthus ovalifolia, Bursera ovalifolia, Bursera gummifera, Terebinthus simaruba, Icicariba simaruba, Elaphrium simaruba, Bursera bonairensis
Family: Burseraceae
Gumbo Limbo Tree (Bursera  simaruba) Recommended Temperature Zone:
USDA: 9b-12

Frost Tolerance: Avoid more than a touch of frost

Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

Origin: South Florida, Central America, West Indies

Growth Habits: Deciduous tree, fast growing up to 20 to 50 feet tall (6-15 m); massive trunk with attractive reddish peeling bark, showing a gray underbark; pinnate leaves, 4 to 8 inches long (10-20 cm) with 3 to 7 oval leaflets, 1 to 2 inches long (2.5-5 cm)

Watering Needs: Little to moderate water, drought tolerant, needs good drainage, doesn't like soils that are continuously wet

Propagation: Cuttings


Gumbo Limbo Tree (Bursera simaruba), U.S.D.A. Drawing, courtesy Hunt Institute

Blooming Habits:
Small inconspicuous flowers.

Fruiting Habits:
Clusters of dark red fruits, 0.5 inch long (1.2 cm), attractive to the birds


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