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Byrsonima lucida (Locust Berry) is a small Florida native tree or shrub, about 5 to 15 feet (4.57 m) tall. It has an irregular, rounded or flat-topped, dense crown. Additionally, the trunk is short, with numerous ascending branches and thin bark that is pale brown. Interestingly, the bark is a host to epiphytes. Furthermore, the blue-green leaves are evergreen, opposite or sub opposite. The leaves are leathery, smooth and glossy above but dull below and 1 to 1 1/2 inches long.
The flowers of the Locust Berry tree are borne in clusters. These showy blooms change color from white to pink to crimson, and attract butterflies. The pea-sized, fleshy fruits are round and 1/2 inch long. The fruit is green ripening to red and attract birds. Also, the fruits are edible and persist on the tree. In addition, the bark and fruits have medicinal uses. The plant grows from seed.
Byrsonima lucida (Locust Berry) is adapted to different types of well-drained soils; it benefits from pruning. In addition to its value as a land reclamation plant, locust berry’s handsome foliage, flowers and fruits, make it effective as specimen plant. Screen, border planting and native plant species for parks and gardens are other uses of Locust Berry. It is a threatened tree in the wild (in Florida) because of habitat loss. Usually not affected by pests.