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An occasional shrub or small tree of hammocks along the east coast from Flagler County into the Florida Keys. The range extends through the Caribbean including the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Amyris elemifera is also found in Mexico and Belize.
Growing up to 5m (~16-1/2 ft.) tall sea torchwood is evergreen with light brown bark. The drooping leaves are opposite and compound with three to five leaflets. Leaflets are petiolate, ovate-lanceolate, 2.5 - 7.5cm (1-3 in.) long with glandular dots on the top surface and pointed tips. The tiny white flowers are in branching clusters and the fruit is a purple to black ovoid drupe 0.5 - 1cm (less than 1/2 in.) long with glandular dots.
Torchwood is one of the primary larval host plants for the Bahamian and Schaus Swallowtail butterflies.
The species name is derived from the term elemi, referring to a fragrant resin used in essential oils and varnishes. The Mexican variety of elemi is made from torchwood, other parts of the world use different trees to make their elemi.
Amyris elemifera is a member of the Rutaceae - Citrus family.
Trees of Eastern North America Gil Nelson; Christopher J. Earle; Richard Spellenberg; Amy K. Hughes(ed.) ; David More(ill.)
Covering 825 species, more than any comparable field guide, Trees of Eastern North America is the most comprehensive, best illustrated, and easiest-to-use book of its kind.
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Presenting all the native and naturalized trees of the eastern United States and Canada as far west as the Great Plains--including those species found only in tropical and subtropical Florida and northernmost Canada--the book features superior descriptions; thousands of meticulous color paintings by David More that illustrate important visual details; range maps that provide a thumbnail view of distribution for each native species; "Quick ID" summaries; a user-friendly layout; scientific and common names; the latest taxonomy; information on the most recently naturalized species; keys to leaves and twigs; and an introduction to tree identification, forest ecology, and plant classification and structure. The easy-to-read descriptions present details of size, shape, growth habit, bark, leaves, flowers, fruit, flowering and fruiting times, habitat, and range. Using a broad definition of a tree, the book covers many small, overlooked species normally thought of as shrubs. With its unmatched combination of breadth and depth, this is an essential guide for every tree lover.
The most comprehensive, best illustrated, and easiest-to-use field guide to the trees of eastern North America
Covers 825 species, more than any comparable guide, including all the native and naturalized trees of the United States and Canada as far west as the Great Plains
Features specially commissioned artwork, detailed descriptions, range maps for native species, up-to-date taxonomy and names, and much, much more
An essential guide for every tree lover