An occasional shrub of coastal beaches and dunes from Pinellas, Hillsborough and Brevard Counties southward along the peninsula and in the keys. Also found in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Sporadically distributed throughout the tropics worldwide.
The simple, linear and entire leaves are alternate and densly crowded near the tips of the branches. Leaves are 1-6cm (3/8 to 2-1/3 in.) long and about 0.6cm (1/4 in.) wide with rounded tips. The yellow flowers may appear at any time of year, either solitary or in terminal clusters. Flowers have five petals and are 1-1.5cm (3/8 to 6/10 in.) across. The sepals are awl-shaped and nearly the length of the petals. There are five stamens. The dry fruit is nut-like and 5mm (2/10 in.) long.
The common name comes from the cedar-like fragrance of the leaves when crushed. The genus was named by Charles Plumier for French physician and botanist Joseph Donat Surian. Plumier and Surian traveled in the West Indies together on botanical expeditions. Plumier died in 1691 a year after returning to France when he accidentally poisoned himself and his family with herbs that he thought would be a mild purgative.
Suriana maritima is a member of the Surianaceae - Suriana family.
Date record last modified: Feb 11, 2020