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


Anonymous said...

You have some really nice photos. You should enter some in the Smithsonian magazine 7th Annual Photo Contest at

Anonymous said...

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

Becky said...

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

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.