Buttonwood / Grey Mangrove (Conocarpus erectus)
Sometimes referred to as the Grey Mangrove and commonly characterized as an associate of the mangrove community, the Buttonwood is normally found higher up the transitional zone than the other mangroves species of the Bahamas. Similar to White Mangroves, the pointed leaves of the Buttonwood possess salt glands to help them excrete excess salts taken up from the soil. Unlike the other mangrove species, the Buttonwood does not possess seeds that germinate on the parent tree, but rather produce flowers that emerge from button-like seed cases. It is these seed cases that give the tree its name. The leaves of the Buttonwood grow in an alternating pattern, unlike the paired leaves of the Red, White, & Black mangroves.
Buttonwood trees can be found on all three of the major islands of Bimini, and are a beautiful part of many tropical landscapes.
Buttonwood trees are commonly used by the terrestrial wildlife of the Bimini islands. Lizards & birds use the trees for perching, and recently a large Bimini boa (Epicrates striatus fosteri) was found climbing amongst the branches of a South Bimini Buttonwood.