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Exothea Paniculata (Inkwood) is also known as Inkwood. Inkwood is native to rocky areas and the coastal hammocks of Florida. It is a moderately sized tree typically 25 to 35 feet tall, sometimes taller. Young plants are often quite bushy. The tree has a dense rounded crown of numerous slender upright branches beginning close to the ground. Furthermore, the bark is reddish brown, thin, mottled and separating into large scales. The leaves are a glossy dark green, bipinnate, alternate. It’s leaflets 2 to 6 inches long; oblong or elliptic in shape.
Moreover, the flowers are white with a yellow and orange disc in the center. The flowers are fragrant, borne in clusters; there are male and female flowers. Additionally, its fruits are berries, orange or reddish brown in color, turning dark purple when ripe. They are 1.5 inches in diameter. Birds like to eat the fruits and seeds used for propagation. Fun fact: The bark and berries are also used to make a homemade ink in the west indies. The wood is hard and heavy and can be used for crafts as well as construction.
Exothea Paniculata (Inkwood) grows well in sandy, clay or loamy well-draining soils containing some organic matter. In landscaping, it is a fine border street tree and specimen tree. It is well suited to coastal locations for both residential and commercial landscapes, as well as in a native plant garden.