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Pithecellobium Keyense



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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.

Additional information

Common Name

Blackbead, Florida Blackbead

Florida Native

Yes, FL Native


South Florida, Caribbean, Mexico

Flowering Season

All Year

Salt Tolerance

Low Salt Tolerance, Moderate Salt Tolerance

Drought Tolerance

High Drought Tolerance

Growth Rate

Moderate Growth Rate

Light Requirements

Full Sun to Partial Shade

Flower Color

Pink, White

Plant Type



25 gal. bush, 25 gal., 45 gal., 45 gal bush, 65 gal. bush, 65 gal., 100 gal . bush, 100 gal., 200 gal., 200 gal. bush, 300 gal., 300 gal. bush