Bursera Simaruba (Gumbo limbo) is a medium to tall tree with a thick trunk and large irregular branches starting close to the ground and forming an open round crown. In addition, it has reddish or coppery aromatic bark which peels off in papery flakes exposing a smooth gray inner bark. And, leaves are compound, with 7-13 leaflets and arranged in a spiral, up to 12 inches long, and bright or dark green in color. Likewise, flower clusters are borne at the branch ends, male and female flowers on different trees and are insect pollinated.
Besides, fruits are oval, red and about 1/2 inch long containing a single seed. They propagate easily from cuttings or seed. This tree is xerophytic and tolerant of varied well-drained soil conditions and salt spray. No pests or diseases of major concern. The light soft wood has utility, serves as fuelwood and was once used to carve carousal horses. The resin, leaves and fruit have medicinal properties. In landscaping, gumbo limbo is often planted for its attractive bark; it is easily pruned and does well along the seaside, as a street tree and as an accent. There is another variety red trunk-belize is also known in the nursery trade.