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Pithecellobium Keyense (Blackbead) is a spreading small tree or shrub, native to Florida. It grows up to 15 feet in height, often growing broader than it is tall. It has a short trunk or trunks with numerous branches and an irregular crown. The bark is gray with shallow furrows. Furthermore, the leaves are alternate, twice-divided, with 4 leaflets.
In addition, the leaflets are shiny bright green and leathery, each about 2 inches long. Flowers are borne at branch ends in shaving-brush like clusters of showy stamens, about 1 1/4 inches wide, white to pink in color and fragrant. Fruit is are attractive coil form, reddish-brown pod, 4 – 6 inches long, splitting open to reveal black seeds with a red aril.
Propagation is by seed after removal of the aril. Pithecellobium Keyense (Blackbead) prefers moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soil with a top layer of humus. It can be pruned into a tree or shaped as a shrub or hedge. Because of its beautiful flowers and distinctive fruits, it has application in landscaping such as in residential gardens, patios, public parks and in containers; also it can be an accent or specimen plant, buffer planting and is ideal for a native plant garden.