Strongbark is endangered, found in sand and limestone substrate-based dry broadleaf evergreen
forests in south Florida, the Bahamas region,
and the keys. People cannot seem to agree on the name. “Strongbark” or “strongback”?
“Strongback” is said to derive from the bark’s purported aphrodisiac properties: strong
backs for bedroom performance.
Plants: Trees are 10-15′ (3-4.6 m) high, rarely reaching 28′ (8.5 m).
They are 5-15′ (1.5-4.6 m) around. Trunks are ¾-4″ (2-10 cm) around, rarely reaching 8″ (20 cm).
Leaves: Alternate, up to 4½″ (12 cm) long, with smooth edges.
Leaf stems (petioles) are yellow-green.
Flowers: White, with five white fused petals. There are five
stamens, fused against the flower and alternating with the petals. The flowers are showy
and persist through the summer.
Fruits: Orange-red to saffron, attractive, less than ¼″ (6.3 mm) around.
Edibility: Fruits are barely edible, said to be sweet but soapy tasting.
A tea can be prepared from the bark.