Wild Florida Photo - Symplocos tinctoria - Common Sweetleaf

Symplocos tinctoria (L.)L'Hér.

Common Sweetleaf
Horse Sugar

Florida native

Hamilton Co. FL 12/05/19
Hamilton Co. FL 12/05/19
Hamilton Co. FL 12/05/19

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An occasional shrub or small tree of hammocks, swamp magins, floodplains and wet flatwoods in the panhandle and northern peninsula into Putnam and Levy Counties, plus Hillsborough County. The range extends throughout the southeastern United States from Texas and Oklahoma into Maryland and Delaware, plus New York state.
Growing to 10m (33 ft.) tall with alternate simple leaves that are elliptic and leathery and usually entire margins that sometimes have inconspicuous blunt teeth. The older leaves are sweet to the taste giving this plant its common names. The yellow flowers appear as rounded clusters mostly along the leafless portions of older twigs in March and April. The fruit is a green drupe about 1cm (less than a half inch) long.


Symplocos tinctoria is a member of the Symplocaceae - Sapphireberry family.

Date record last modified: Apr 18, 2023

Paul Rebmann Nature Photography at pixels.com