Gumbo limbo (often hyphenated) is native to the tropical regions of the Americas, including
the southeastern United States. This tree is sometimes nicknamed the tourist tree, because its peeling,
reddish bark resembles sunburned tourists.
Plants: 20-66' (6-20 m) tall, with a single trunk up
to 3' (1 m) in diameter, and large, irregular branches. Its crown is about the same size around.
Bark is smooth, peeling in thin layers that roll up on themselves.
Outer bark is coppery red in color, while exposed new bark is whitish or silvery gray. It is resinous, and has an odor like turpentine.
Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound, 6-8" (15-20 cm) × 4-6" (10-15 cm), on
a stem (petiole) 1-3" (3-8 cm) long. Leaflets are broadly ovate, 1½-2½" (4-7 cm) × ¾-1¾" (2-5 cm),
Flowers: Inconspicuous racemes of flowers with 3-5 greenish or cream-colored petals.
Fruits: Dark red, elliptic in shape, three-valved, about ½-1" (1.3-2.5 cm) long.