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Conocarpus erectus L.

Buttonwood, button mangrove, green buttonwood

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderMyrtalesIncludes myrtles, leadwoods, loosestrifes, pomegranates, evening primroses, many others
FamilyCombretaceaeVarious trees, shrubs and lianas, including leadwood, other tropical and subtropical plants
GenusConocarpusFrom the Greek κονος (konos), “cone,” and καρπος (karpos), “fruit”

About plant names...

Buttonwood is found in Bermuda, the coastal swamps of Florida, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It is also found in the Galapagos Islands, but it does not occur in Mexico. It has horticultural value as a landscape planting, and for bonsai.

Plants: This drought-tolerant evergreen is 30-40′ (9.1-12 m) high and 20-30′ (6.1-9.1 m) around. Trees are erect, with an irregular branched crown. Bark is dark brown, with ridges and scales.

Leaves: Alternate and entire, with short petioles. Each leaf is elliptic to oval to lanceolate, 1¼-4″ (3.2-10 cm) long and ½-1¼″ (1.3-3.2 cm) wide.

Flowers: Clusters of tiny white fuzzy-looking spherical flowers are 1-3″ (2.5-7.6 cm) long, and not showy.

Fruits: Small spherical clusters of reddish-brown fruits, looking like cones, appear interspersed among the leaves, attached to the stems. Each fruit is scaly, and has two wings.

Online References:





The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List of Threatened Species

Conocarpus erectus L. var. sericeus Fors ex DC.


Conocarpus erectus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Conocarpus erectus (buttonwood, button mangrove, green buttonwood)

Bonsai. · 12/12/2016 · Bonsai West, Littleton, Mass­a­chu­setts · ≈ 1 × 1½′ (34 × 52 cm)

Range: Zones 10a-11:

About this map...