I posted these photos in the Florida Forum for I.D., and the initial response is that it may be some sort of wild cherry or other Prunus species.
Can anyone pin it down a bit more specifically or will I need to wait until it flowers/makes fruit?
The leaves are alternate, about 6 - 7 inches long and about 1.5 inches wide. The leaf edges have a very slight, not very sharp serration. The thin trunk and stems are a drab olive-brown with tiny speckling of tan all over. The pink-purplish tint to the leaves is a result of our recent spate of high to mid 20s F temperatures in north Florida, but the leaves held on during the freezes, so it seems to be a very hardy, non-deciduous type shrub. The leaves are normally a dark green color.
I think it is self-seeded (I don't remember planting it but I tend to drop plants in the ground and forget about them until they are staring me in the face sometime later). It could be a native shrub or exotic invasive. It could be a cherry pit I spit out while noshing and wandering in my yard. It is somewhat fast growing, now about 6 ft tall. I think it probably has been growing for only a couple of years, but it was previously shrouded by an overwhelming accumulation of Passiflora 'incense', so it may have been there longer than I am aware of its presence in my garden.
Any assistance with an I.D. will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks, plantsman & plantslady (what a coincidence that the two genders of plants-persons would be responders! LOL) The Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) I.D. certainly seems to be correct from my comparison of the leaves in other photos, especially this one showing the purplish winter color of the leaves: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/175143/
I don't really need such a potentially tall tree in the area where this P. serotina chose to grow, but being forewarned, I can try to keep it pruned to an acceptable level. I look forward to the flowers and fruit. I try to grow as many plants/shrubs/trees as possible as natural sources of food for wildlife, and this tree seems to be great for that purpose.
Interesting about the cyanide in the leaves and how the poison can be accumulated and concentrated in tent caterpillars that eat the leaves. Certainly something to watch out for.
I will mark this thread solved and report back later if the tree surprises me by being something else.
Cattus inpottus will remain forever an enigma! LOL