Wild Florida Photo - Geobalanus oblongifolius - Gopher apple
A low growing shrub usually less than 30cm (~1 foot) tall found mostly in the sandhills throughout most of Florida, but also in pine flatwoods, scrub and scrubby flatwoods. The range extends through the southeastern coastal states from Louisiana to South Carolina.
The terminal panicles of small five-petaled white flowers appear in spring and summer. Leaves are alternate, oblong and leathery. The edible, though nearly tasteless fruit is a favorite food of the gopher tortoise
Gopher apple has recently been moved from the Licania
genus to Geobalanus
based on genetic research indicating this species has separate ancestors than true Licania
. An observable difference in the genera is that Geobalanus
have petals and in Licania
the petals are absent.
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Geobalanus oblongifolius is a member of the Chrysobalanaceae - Cocoa-plum family.
Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (Institute for Systemic Botany) profile for this species
USDA Plant Profile for this species
Date record last modified: Jul 15, 2018