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Sideroxylon lycioides

Previously known as:

  • Bumelia cassinifolia
  • Bumelia lycioides
  • Bumelia smallii
Phonetic Spelling
sid-der-ox-ZY-lon ly-see-OY-deez
Description

Buckthorn bully is a native evergreen to deciduous shrub or small tree.  It is found in the southeast and west to TX. It tends to grow in moist areas along streams and ponds. It is evergreen in warm winter areas and deciduous further north. This tree will grow up to 20 feet tall and produce clusters of tiny white flowers in the late spring to early summer. The fruit matures to purplish black in the fall and is edible but usually the birds or squirrels will get them first. Deer will browse the twigs. The leaves and stems will exude a milky sap when broken. Thorns are present on the stems.

This tree prefers well-drained moist sandy loams in full sun to partial shade. It isn't usually grown in the home landscape but could certainly be planted in a native naturalized area. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#white flowers#native tree#showy fruits#NC native#edible garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#white flowers#native tree#showy fruits#NC native#edible garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sideroxylon
    Species:
    lycioides
    Family:
    Sapotaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern Illinois to SE. U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Fruits can be eaten and used for jams and jellies.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    1/2-inch long oval berries are red maturing to purplish black
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Tiny white flowers in clusters with 5 petals in late spring to early summer.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Black
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Shiny green leaves above and paler with a few hairs below on young leaves, up to 6 inches long. Often clustered near the ends of branches. Wedge-shaped at base and tip often pointed, margins entire, exude a milky sap when crushed.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Scaly
    Bark Description:
    Bark is smooth on young trees and becomes scaly and shedding as the tree matures to revel a red inner bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Leaf Scar Shape:
    C-shaped, Cresent shaped
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Brown stems with a 1-inch thorn at each leaf scar. Exudes a milky sap when broken.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree