Bursera simaruba (L.) Sarg.

Gumbo Limbo

Family: Burseraceae

Genus: Bursera

Category: Tree - Deciduous

Zones: 10b to 12

Size: From 20 to 50' tall

Growth Rate: Fast

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Pinnately compound, feathery leaves to 8" long. Red flaky bark. Spreading crown with irregular branches. Loses its leaves in early spring just before new leaves appear. Blooms in winter, inconspicuous. Dark red fruit matures in one year.


Published in Gard. & Forest 3: 260 in 1890.

Basionym is Pistacia simaruba L. - Linnaeus cites Catesby's Natural History Volume I Plate 30.

Synonym Elaphrium simaruba (L.) Rose.

Native to Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner