Pineapple guava (Acca sellowiana) adds landscape interest with its gray-green leaves and waxy, pink-and-white flowers, and produces an egg-size, edible fruit that tastes like a guava. Grow this small tree, which reaches 8-12 feet tall and wide, in full sun. It is easy to grow, tolerates seacoast salt exposure, and stays evergreen.
Many types of palm trees grow well in Florida, including the Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens). This native palm tree, when selected in its silver form, can light up a landscape with cool, silvery-blue fronds. At 6 feet tall and wide, this slow-growing, cold-hardy tree can fit into most landscapes, including salty coastal areas. Grow it in full sun to partial shade.
Firebush (Hamelia patens) draws the eye with its orange-red tubular flowers. It’s also a hummingbird and butterfly magnet. A Florida native, this evergreen shrub can reach 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide, but a compact variety can be chosen. The leaves are reddish during much of the year, then fade to green. Its small, juicy berries are green, then turn yellow, red, and finally black. Grow firebush in full sun to partial shade. Once established, it is drought-tolerant.
Other small native Florida trees and shrubs worth investigating include Yucca smalliana, coontie (Zamia floridana), gallberry (Ilex glabra), gopher apple (Licania michauxii), and Spanish bayonet (Yucca aloifolia).