The evidence is inconclusive concerning shady lady as a florida native tree. It is an evergreen tree typically 40-50 feet tall, with a pyramidal crown when young but becoming dense, full and rounded with age. It initially has a smooth gray-brown bark which becomes irregularly rough as the tree ages, and has strong branches, bearing some spines. Leaves are alternate, simple, leathery, entire, green above and below, measuring 4 x 1 inches and tufted at branch ends. Flowers are borne on long slender spikes, 3-4 inches long, blooms are creamy to yellowish, urn-shaped, about 1/4 inch wide, fragrant and attractive to bees. The flowers are not showy. Fruits are borne in clusters, oval in shape, about 1/2 inch in diameter, reddish brown to black when ripe. Despite the common name black olive, the fruits are not edible, although birds eat them. Shady lady may be propagated by seed or layering. The tree responds best to well-drained soils, is frost sensitive, and has no serious pest or disease problems; the tree is considered invasive which may contribute to the question of whether or not it is a florida native or naturalized. In landscaping, shady lady is a good plant for reclamation, along streets withouts sidewalks and as a specimen or lawn tree; it is also an effective hedge plant. Litter from the tree contains tannin which can stain sidewalks etc.