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Mangle Dulce, Gutta-percha, Leatherleaf, Mangle Aguabola, Mangle, Aguabola, Guttapercha Mayten
Maytenus phyllanthoides (Maytenus texana)


Mangle dulce forms thickets from runner-like branches which root at the nodes on mounds of clay or sand around the coastal prairies and marshes, often on saline soil on the South Texas coast, Florida, Baja, California and into Mexico. It is an unarmed, much-branched, creeping or prostrate evergreen shrub, or may be a small crooked tree. Stiff, leathery or fleshy, oval, smallish (1" x 2") dull greyish-green leaves with entire or undulating margins have been used as remedies for toothache and scurvy. Bright red, shiny berries (capsules) ripen in November in Texas. The gum is used as a substitute for gutta percha to bind splints for broken limbs, in golf balls or as insulating material. In tropical America mangle dulce wood is sometimes used for fuel, but in Texas it makes only a small shrub, less than 4 feet tall.

Plant Habit or Use: small shrub
medium shrub
large shrub

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: green, yellowish green with reddish calyx

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: capsules

Height: 2 to 20 feet

Width: 1.5 to 8 feet

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: adaptable

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9

Additional Comments: The true gutta percha gum is derived from Palaquium gutta trees of the Sapotaceae family.

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