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Turpentine Tree

Turpentine Tree

Common Name:
Turpentine Tree
South Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean, Yucatan peninsula, Central America, and western South America
  • White
Plant Type:
  • Tree

What desert tree looks as though it is sunburned due to its red, peeling bark? Learn more about Turpentine Tree.

Bursera simaruba

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.

USDA Hardiness Zones

10b (35 °F to 40 °F)

11a (40 °F to 45 °F)

11b (45 °F to 50 °F)

12a (50 °F to 55 °F)

12b (55 °F to 60 °F)

Endangered Status
  • Extinct in Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Not Evaluated (NE)

The sunburned tree

The Turpentine Tree looks as though it is sunburned due to its red, peeling bark. The bark is semi-transparent and enables the tree to photosynthesize during dry periods. It is found in southern Florida, Mexico and the West Indies to northern South America. In each habitat, it varies from being a weed, to a living fence, to a street tree and as welcomed shade in the desert.

Fun Facts:
  • This is one of the most flexible and adaptable trees in the world.
  • It is a food source for some birds.
  • It has also been used medicinally.
Turpentine Tree