Fabulous fruit cups are an identifying character of lancewood (Ocotea coriacea). Judy Gersony, Senior Biologist at the Indian River Research & Education Center, who led a wonderful walk for us at Queen’s Cove Preserve, asked for ID of this tropical plant that is quite common along the hammock loop trail at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area.
Fruiting and flowering often are profuse in full sun, as in the ORCA parking lot, as seen in the picture below.
The alternate, lanceolate leaves are aromatic, when crushed, and have a yellow midrib & petiole. The whitish flowers are held in a terminal panicle…
Fruits, cleaned of pulp, should be planted immediately.
The common name, lancewood, refers to the straight, erect trunk of this small (to 30′ in Indian River County) that aboriginal people reportedly used to spear (lance) fish.