Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Bumelia lycioides (L.) Pers.
- Family: Sapodilla (Sapotaceae)
- Flowering: September-October
- Field Marks: This Bumelia differs by its smooth twigs, smooth or only sparsely hairy leaves,
and black berries at least 1/2 inch long.
- Habitat: Low woods, bottomland forests, moist or dry soils on slopes, ridges, and bluffs.
- Habit: Much branched shrub or tree up to 40 feet tall; diameter of trunk up to 8 inches; crown
- Bark: Gray-brown, at maturity breaking into scales or plates, exposing a red-brown inner bark.
- Twigs: Hairy at first, but becoming smooth or nearly so at maturity, some ending in a sharp
thorn; thorns also sometimes present along the twigs.
- Leaves: Alternate, although sometimes crowded at the tip of branches, simple, elliptic to
oblanceolate, rounded or pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, smooth or only sparsely hairy
at maturity, without teeth, up to 5 inches long, up to nearly 2 inches wide.
- Flowers: Several to many in dense, usually sessile umbels in the axils of the leaves.
- Sepals: 5, united at the base, smooth, the lobes up to 1/8 inch long.
- Petals: 5, white, united at the base, only slightly longer than the sepals.
- Stamens: 10, 5 of them fertile, 5 of them sterile and resembling small petals, attached to the
tube of the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Berries ovoid to nearly spherical, up to 1/2 inch long, black, the base of the style usually
persistent as a terminal point.
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