Silver Buttonwood Leaves and Fruit

Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus

Silver Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus)
Location: Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii

A popular ornamental plant here in Hawaii is the Silver Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus).    It thrives in full sun and is known to be both salt-tolerant and drought-tolerant.

Because of its pale silvery-green leaves, this plant often is used in landscaping to provide a contrast to darker foliage.  It is sometimes used as a hedge, but in other settings the bushes are planted as individuals.  We have about a dozen Silver Buttonwoods, interspersed with Ficus trees, planted along one edge of our property as a sort of natural fence.

The Silver Buttonwood bears tiny, pale flowers that mature into small fruits, which grow in clusters on a stalk.   This close-up photo shows the silvery leaves and the mature fruits.

More information:
US Forest Service Fact Sheet: Silver Buttonwood - 3-page 'pdf' file

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have some really nice photos. You should enter some in the Smithsonian magazine 7th Annual Photo Contest at
http://photocontest.smithsonianmag.com/

2sweetnsaxy said...

That's an interesting plant. Are those little fruits edible?

Becky and Gary said...

How interesting Bobbi. The flowers are much different from what I would think this plant would have.
B.

Tink *~*~* said...

There is a street on Sanibel Island called Buttonwood - I never knew it was a plant and now I will have to make it a point to visit that street and see if I can find this plant growing there!

Tink *~*~*

BNS said...

@ Anonymous - Thank you. I'll have a look at the Smithsonian photo contest.

@ 2sweet - As far as I know, the silver buttonwood fruits are not edible. In any case, I have never seen or heard of anyone or anything eating them. I have not even noticed the birdies pecking at them -- which might tell us something.

@ Becky and Tink - Apparently there are several distinct types of buttonwood plants. I believe they are in the same family as mangroves. Different types may have different types of flowers/fruits. I only know this one 'personally'.

Tink, I understand that several types of buttonwood do grow in Florida, so I'll bet you would be able to find some, once you know what to look for.

Bobbie