Looking for a native tree with good Fall color,
something fairly rare in Northwest Florida. Take a look at
Florida Soapberry, aka Sapindus saponaria for South
Florida or Sapindus marginatus for Northwest Florida,
Coastal Georgia and Coastal South Carolina.
Soapberry grows to 40 feet tall in South Florida,
but levels out in Northwest Florida at less than 20 feet tall
and 15 feet wide. As a common name implies, various
native people and early settlers used the rubbed the fruit
in water to make a soap for clothes and body washing.
The Soapberry Tree has compound leaves, whitish Spring flowers and marble size yellow fruits. In the Fall, the leaves turn a translucent Yellow color which lasts about two weeks or better.
Rare in the nursery trades, Soapberry can be ordered through Woodlands, Inc. or other reputable nursery suppliers.