Ever heard of the gumbo-limbo tree? No, it’s not from a fantasy book, it’s a real tree that lives in the Everglades. In fact, it’s one of the best-known trees in south Florida. It’s also known as the “tourist tree,” because its peeling bark resembles the skin of South Florida visitors.
This tree has a shiny, red bark that has the appearance that it’s constantly peeling. It has green leaves that grow in spirals. It produces fruit mainly in March and April. The gumbo limbo tree is tall (grows rapidly), and it’s wood is easy to carve. It is very sturdy and hurricane resistant. But when they do fall, they can sprout from a broken branch on the ground; clearly, they are a very resilient plant! This tree is also considered a shade tree that thrives with minimal care.
The resin from the tree has medicinal purposes and can treat gout. Tea that is made from the tree’s leave is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
In the Everglades National Park, there is a Gumbo Limbo Trail that is .4 miles round trip. Bicycles are not allowed on this path. This paved path brings visitors through a shaded, hammock of gumbo limbo trees, along with royal palms, ferns, and air plants. The trail is about 4 miles from the main park entrance. This is considered an easy path. Along this trail, there are signs identifying the trees and explaining how this forest formed. There are some deep holes surrounding the path and it is known to be a bit buggy.
Check Out the Gumbo-Limbo Trees
While you can check out these unique-looking trees on the Gumbo-Limbo Trail, you can also view these trees and even more vegetation on an airboat tour through the Park. Join Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours for a fun and exciting airboat adventure today. To book an airboat tour in the Everglades, click here or call 800-368-0065.