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ENH26 Salt-Tolerant Plants for Florida 1 R. J. Black 2 1. This document is ENH-26 (which supersedes OH-26), one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Date first printed: December 1985. Reviewed: June 1997, September 2003. Please visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ 2. R. J. Black, Extension Consumer Horticulturist, Extension Environmental Horticulturist; Department of Environmental Horticulture, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida/Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean. Introduction If you think that the state or Florida offers a wealth of plant material and good growing environment, you're right. But try gardening near or on the Atlantic and the Gulf coasts, and you may have problems. Winds carry salt spray inland, leaving salt deposits on plants. Salt causes water to move out of the plants in a process called exosmosis. Especially on young leaves, this often results in the marginal burning and loss of leaves in non-salt-tolerant plants. Plant damage may also result from driving rains and frequently heavy surf. Coastal soil composition adds to gardening problems. Sand along the coast generally lacks organic matter or any other nutrientand moisture-holding material, although this lack can be partly overcome by the addition of organic matter. Also, alkaline soils may lock up vital mineral nutrients needed for plant growth. Salt tolerance of a plant relates to resistance and ability to grow under conditions of (1) high winds, (2) salt spray, (3) alkaline soils, and (4) infertile, sandy soils. The tolerance of a given plant to salt may be affected if any of the four conditions become extreme. The tables included here provide a guide to selecting landscape plants for Florida's beach areas or areas with high levels of water salinity. In each table, plants are listed by common and Latin name and are divided into categories such as trees and shrubs. Within each category plants are grouped according to degree of salt tolerance. The range in Florida is indicated by: N = North, C = Central, S = South. Salt-Tolerant plants are highly resistant to salt drift and can be used in exposed environments. Moderately Salt-Tolerant plants tolerate some salt spray but grow best when protected by buildings, fences, or plantings of more salt-tolerant species. Slightly Salt-Tolerant plants have poor tolerance and should be always used well back of exposed areas and be protected by buildings, fences, or plantings of more salt-tolerant species. Many common plants are listed, although numerous less common plants are not included. Extremely salt-sensitive plants have been excluded. Information is given on the range of growth in Florida and approximate plant height at maturity.
Salt-Tolerant Plants for Florida 2 Table 1 Salt-Tolerant Trees for Florida Table 2 Salt-Tolerant Palms for Florida Table 3 Salt-Tolerant Shrubs for Florida Table 4 Salt-Tolerant Ground Covers for Florida Table 5 Salt-Tolerant Vines for Florida NOTE: Scientific plant names in the tables are correct according to the source Hortus Third, A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada, revised and expanded by the Staff of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium, New York State University at Cornell University. Macmillian Publishing Co., Inc., 1976.
Salt-Tolerant Plants for Florida 3 Table 1. Salt-Tolerant Trees for Florida Common Name Scientific Name Range in Florida Approximate Height Salt-Tolerant Plants Black olive Bucida buceras S 40 feet Bontia Bontia daphnoide S 30 feet Frangipani Plumeria spp. S 15 feet Geiger tree Cordia sebestena S 30 feet Japanese pagoda-tree Sophora japonica S 60 feet Live oak Quercus virginiana N,C,S 60 feet Mahogany Swietenia mahogani S 40 feet Ochrosia Ochrosia elliptica S 20 feet Pigeon plum Coccoloba laurifolia S 70 feet Satin leaf Chrysophyllum oliviforme S 30 feet Silver button-bush Conocarpus erectus S 60 feet Tabebuia Tabebuia argentea C,S Variable Moderately Salt-Tolerant Plants Weeping fig Ficus benjamina S 50 feet Chaste-tree Vitex agnus-castus N,C,S 20 feet Dahoon Ilex cassine N,C,S 40 feet Gumbo-limbo Bursera simaruba S 60 feet Loquat Eriobotrya japonica N,C,S 20 feet Magnolia Magnolia grandiflora N,C 75 feet Mango Mangifera indica S 40 feet Pongam Pongamia pinnata S 40 feet Royal poinciana Delonix regia S 40 feet Rubber plant Ficus elastica S 50 feet
Salt-Tolerant Plants for Florida 4 Table 1. Salt-Tolerant Trees for Florida Common Name Scientific Name Range in Florida Approximate Height Sweet acacia Acacia farnesiana N,C,S 10 feet Slightly Salt-Tolerant Plants African tulip tree Spathodea campanulata S 50 feet American holly Ilex opaca N,C 50 feet Coral tree Erythrina spp. C,S 25 feet Golden-shower Cassia fistula S 40 feet Jerusalem thorn Parkinsonia aculeata N,C,S 25 feet Pencil tree Euphorbia tirucalli S 20 feet Sweet gum Liquidambar styraciflua N,C,S 100 feet Yellow poinciana Peltophorum pterocarpum C,S 50 feet Table 2. Salt-Tolerant Palms for Florida Common Name Scientific Name Range in Florida Appoximate Height Salt-Tolerant Plants Bottle palm (LY) 1 Hyophorbe spp. S 15 feet Brittle thatch palm Thrinax morrisil S 15 feet Cabbage palm Sabal palmetto N,C,S 60 feet Coconut (LY) Cocos nucifera S 80 feet Hurricane palm (LY) Dictyosperma album S 40 feet Saw palmetto Serenoa repens N,C,S 10 feet Silver palm Coccothrinax argentata S 20 feet Washingtonia palm Washingtonia spp. N,C,S 80 feet Moderately Salt-Tolerant Plants Acrocomia Gastrococos crispa C,S 40 feet
Salt-Tolerant Plants for Florida 5 Table 2. Salt-Tolerant Palms for Florida Common Name Scientific Name Range in Florida Appoximate Height African oil palm Elaeis guineensis S 60 feet Areca palm Chrysalidocarpus lutescens S 30 feet Canary island date palm (LY) Phoenix canariensis N,C,S 30 feet Christmas palm (LY) Veitchia merrillii S 20 feet Date palm (LY) Phoenix dactylifera C,S 50 feet European fan Chamaerops humilis N,C,S 10 feet Fiji island fan palm (LY) Pritchardia pacifica S 30 feet Gingerbread palm Hyphaene thebaica S 25 feet Lady palm Rhapis excelsa N,C,S 15 feet Paurotis Acoelorrhaphe wrightii S 40 feet Pindo palm Butia capitata N,C,S 30 feet Queen palm Arecastrum romanzoffianum C,S 40 feet Royal palm Roystonea elata S 80 feet Windmill palm (LY) Trachycarpus fortunei N,C,S 20 feet 1 LY--Palms on quarantine list displaying symptoms of lethal yellowing Table 3. Salt-Tolerant Shrubs for Florida Common Name Scientific Name Range in Florida Approximate Height Salt-Tolerant Plants Adam's-needle Yucca smalliana N,C,S 4 feet African milk brush Synadenium grantii S 8 feet Bay cedar Suriana maritima S 20 feet Crown-of-thorns Euphorbia milii C,S 3 feet Inkberry Scaevola plumieri S 6 feet
Salt-Tolerant Plants for Florida 6 Table 3. Salt-Tolerant Shrubs for Florida Common Name Scientific Name Range in Florida Approximate Height Marlberry Ardisia escallonoides S 20 feet Milkstripe euphorbia Euphorbia lactea S 15 feet Natal plum Carissa grandiflora C,S 10 feet Oleander Nerium oleander N,C,S 20 feet Pittosporum Pittosporum tobira N,C,S 15 feet Sea grape Coccoloba uvifera S 25 feet Southern wax myrtle Myrica cerifera N,C,S 25 feet Yaupon Ilex vomitoria N,C 25 feet Moderately Salt-Tolerant Plants Barbados flower-fence Caesalpinia pulcherrima S 15 feet Bottle brush Callistemon rigidus N,C,S 15 feet Devil's-backbone Pedilanthus tithymaloides C,S 6 feet Blue sage Eranthemum pulchellum C,S 5 feet Fatsia Fatsia japonica N,C,S 4 7 feet Fire-thorn Pyracantha coccinea N,C 20 feet Giant milkweed Calotropis gigantea S 15 feet Grape hollies Mahonia spp. N,C 6 12 feet Hedge cactus Cereus peruvianus N,C,S 25 feet Holly malpighia Malpighia coccigera S 3 feet Indian hawthorn Rhaphiolepis indica N 5 feet Ixora Ixora coccinea C,S 15 feet Jade plant Crassula argentea S 4 feet Lucky nut Thevetia peruviana C,S 10 15 feet Night cestrum Cestrum nocturnum C,S 12 feet
Salt-Tolerant Plants for Florida 7 Table 3. Salt-Tolerant Shrubs for Florida Common Name Scientific Name Range in Florida Approximate Height Pseuderanthemum Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum C,S 4 feet Rattle box Sesbania punicea N,C,S 8 feet Ribbon bush Homalocladium platycladum C,S 4 feet Satsuki azalea Rhododendron indicum N,C,S 6 feet Scarlet bush Hamelia patens S 12 feet Vitex Vitex trifolia 'Variegata' C,S 12 feet Slightly Salt-Tolerant Plants Aralia Polyscias spp. S 6 15 feet Butterfly bush Buddleia officinalis N,C,S 20 feet Chinese hat plant Holmskioldia sanguinea C,S Variable Copper leaf Acalypha wilkesiana C,S 15 feet Coral plant Jatropha spp. S 10 15 feet Crape jasmine Tabernaemontana divaricata C,S 10 feet Crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica N,C,S 20 feet Croton Codiaeum variegatum C,S 10 feet Cuphea Cuphea hyssopifolia C,S 1 2 feet Hibiscus Hibiscus rosa-sinensis C,S 15 feet Japanese privet Ligustrum japonicum N,C,S 15 feet Pineapple guava Acca sellowiana N,C,S 18 feet Plumbago Plumbago auriculata C,S Variable Poinsettia Euphorbia pulcherrima N,C,S 12 feet Princess flower Tibouchina urvilleana C,S 15 feet Rice-paper plant Tetrapanax papyriferus N,C,S 10 feet Sanchezia Sanchezia speciosa C,S 6 feet
Salt-Tolerant Plants for Florida 8 Table 3. Salt-Tolerant Shrubs for Florida Common Name Scientific Name Range in Florida Approximate Height Snow bush Breynia nivosa C,S 10 feet Thryallis Galphimia glauca C,S 6 8 feet Wintergreen barberry Berberis julianae N 6 feet Yellow-elder Tecoma stans C,S 15 feet Table 4. Salt-Tolerant Ground Covers for Florida Common Name Scientific Name Range in Florida Approximate Height Salt-Tolerant Plants Confederate jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides N,C,S Variable Coontie Zamia integrifolia N,C 24 inches Creeping fig Ficus pumila N,C,S 12 inches Dichondra Dichondra carolinensis N,C,S 2 inches English ivy Hedera helix N,C,S 4-6 inches Fig-marigold Glottiphyllum depressum S 6 inches Hottentot fig Carpobrotus edulis C,S 6 inches Lily turf Ophiopogon japonicus N,C,S 18 inches Lirope Lirope spicata N,C,S 18 inches Purslane Portulaca spp. N,C,S 6 inches Running strawberry bush Euonymus fortunei S 10 inches Virginia creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia N,C,S Variable Weeping lantana Lantana montevidensis C,S 18 24 inches Moderately Salt-Tolerant Plants Kalanchoe Kalanchoe spp. S 24 inches Blood leaf Alternanthera spp. C,S 12 inches
Salt-Tolerant Plants for Florida 9 Table 4. Salt-Tolerant Ground Covers for Florida Common Name Scientific Name Range in Florida Approximate Height Mexican flame vine Senecio confusus C,S 24 inches Purple queen Setcreasea pallida N,C,S 24 inches Wandering jew Zebrina pendula N,C,S 6 inches Slightly Salt-Tolerant Plants Coleus Coleus blumei N,C,S 12 18 inches Partridge berry Mitchella repens N,C,S Variable Transvaal daisy Gerbera jamesonii N,C,S 18 inches Table 5. Salt-Tolerant Vines for Florida Common Name Scientific Name Range in Florida Approximate Height Salt-Tolerant Plants Algerian ivy Hedera canariensis N,C,S Variable Bougainvillea Bougainvillea spp. C,S Variable Cape honeysuckle Tecomaria capensis C,S Variable Night blooming cereus Hylocereus undatus S Variable Rubber vine Cryptostegia grandiflora S Variable Moderately Salt-Tolerant Plants Creeping fig Ficus pumila N,C,S Variable Pink allamanda Mandevilla splendens C,S Variable Wax plant Hoya carnosa S Variable Woolly congea Congea tomentosa S Variable Slightly Salt-Tolerant Plants Allamanda Allamanda spp. C,S Variable Chalice vine Solandra guttata C,S Variable
Salt-Tolerant Plants for Florida 10 Table 5. Salt-Tolerant Vines for Florida Common Name Scientific Name Range in Florida Approximate Height Downy jasmine Jasminum multiflorum C,S Variable Painted trumpet Clytostoma callistegioides N,C,S Variable Queens wreath Petrea volubilis S Variable Rangoon creeper Quisqualis indica S Variable Star jasmine Jasminum nitidum C,S Variable