Inkwood is native to rocky areas and coastal hammocks of florida. It is a moderate-sized tree typically 25 - 35 feet tall, sometimes taller; young plants often quite bushy. The tree has a dense rounded crown of numerous slender upright branches beginning close to the ground. The bark is reddish brown, thin, mottled and separating into large scales. The leaves are glossy dark green, bipinnate, alternate; leaflets 2 - 6, oblong or elliptic, entire 2 - 5 inches in length. Flowers are white with a yellow/orange disc in the center, semi-showy, yellow, fragrant, borne in clusters, male and female flowers on different plants. Fruits are berries, orange or reddish brown, ripening to dark purple, 1/2 inch in diameter; birds eat the fruits and seeds used for propagation. The bark and berries are used to make a homemade ink in the west indies. The wood is hard and heavy, used for crafts and construction. Inkwood grows well in sandy, clay or loam well-drained soils with some organic matter. In landscaping, it is a fine border, street tree and specimen, tree. It is well suited to coastal locations for residential and commercial landscapes, an in a native plant garden.
Photo credit: Keith Bradley, Flickr