Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bumelia

Bumelia
A small genus of trees that are part of the larger Sapotaceae family.
The sweet tasting fruits are typically black. They are good eaten raw or cooked. They also make very good jelly.

Bumelia alachuense ( Silver Bully )
Also called Sideroxylon alachuense or Alachua Bully. A deciduous to semi-evergreen, small tree that is native to far southern Georgia; south to Orange County in central Florida. It is endangered in the wild. Some records include: largest on record - 33 x 14 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 inches. It is valuable for use in hedging.
The ovate or elliptical leaves, up to 3.5 x 1.6 ( rarely over 2 ) inches in size, are glossy deep green above. downy silvery-white beneath.
The tiny white flowers are borne in clusters of up to 20 during mid-summer. It is a valuable honey plant
They are followed by glossy black berries, up to 0.5 inches wide. The berries are valuable to wildlife.
The stems are armed with thorns.
Hardy zones 8 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on just about any well drained soil. It is not salt tolerant.

Bumelia celastrinum ( Saffron Plum )
A small to medium-sized tree, native to Florida, as well as southern Texas into Mexico. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet; largest on record - 80 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet.
The obovate leaves, up to 2 x 1 inches, are glossy deep green. The evergreen foliage persists for 2 years or more.
The sweet-tasting, black fruits are up to 1 inch in length.
Hardy zones 8 to 10, it is very heat and drought tolerant.

Bumelia lanuginosum ( Gum Bumelia )
A moderate growing, narrow-crowned, small to medium-sized tree, that is native to the central U.S. ( from central Kansas to central Missouri to western Kentucky to South Carolina; south to central Texas to central Florida ) Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet; largest on record - 85 x 66 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.3 feet. The Gum Bumelia is structurally very strong and storm resistant.
The smooth-edged, blunt-tipped, oval to oblong leaves, up to 4 x 1.5 inches, are glossy deep green above, rusty or silvery hairy beneath.
The leaves are either alternately-arranged along the stems or whorled at the stem tips.
The small white flowers are borne along the stems on small axilliary clusters during early summer.
They are followed by edible, blue fruits, up to an inch in length. The fruits are relished by songbirds.
The scaly, fissured back is dark bluish-gray. The stems are armed with spines.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 ( tolerates as low as -27 F and is known to thrive in Chicago ) in full sun to partial shade on acidic soil only. It is very tolerant of heat and drought.

* historical archive photos


Bumelia lycioides ( Buckthorn Bumelia )
A small, semi-evergreen tree that is a rare thought widespread native to swamps in the southeastern U.S. ( from central Arkansas to southern Illinois to southern Indiana to southeast Virginia; south to southeast Texas to northern Florida ). Some records include: largest on record - 66 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.3 feet.
The elliptical leaves, up to 6 x 3 inches, are bright green.
In very mild climates, it may be evergreen.
The tiny flowers are followed by blue fruits, up to 0.8 inches in length.
The stems are armed with curved spines.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on average to moist soils.
It is very heat tolerant and also tolerant of flooding.

Bumelia tenax ( Tough Bumelia )
A small, evergreen tree that is native to the southeastern U.S. ( from central Georgia to southeastern North Carolina; south to southern Florida ). Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet; largest on record - 41 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.2 feet. It is structurally very strong and storm resistant.
It resembled the Gum Bumelia but is smaller in all its parts.
The smooth-edged, blunt-tipped, oval to oblong leaves, up to 3 x 1 inches, are deep green above, rusty hairy beneath.
The leaves are either alternately-arranged along the stems or whorled at the stem tips.
The small white flowers are borne along the stems on small axilliary clusters during early summer.
They are followed by blue fruits, up to an inch in length.
The scaly, fissured back is dark bluish-gray. The zigzag twigs are armed with spines up to an inch in length.
Hardy zones 8 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on acidic soil only. It is very tolerant of heat, drought and salt.

Bumelia thornei ( Georgia Bully )
A semi-weeping, deciduous, small tree, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 10 ( rarely over 8 ) feet, that is native from far southwestern Alabama to southeast Georgia; south into northwest Florida. It is endangered in the wild due to destruction of its floodplain and swamp habitat.
The oval leaves, up to 2.8 x 1 inch in size, are dull green. The foliage appears early during the spring and persists late in the fall.
The tiny white flowers are borne in clusters during early spring.
They are followed by black berries, up to 0.4 inches wide, that are a food source greatly liked by wildlife.
The dark brown twigs exude a milky sap.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on moist to wet, fertile soil.

RELATED TREE

Sideroxylon foetidissimum

* historic archive photo

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