Dougbug, what a great review! I've seen several in the Venice, FL area and they are beautiful. Initially mistook them for VERY pretty oaks. I talked with the people who own them and was told they do great here with very little problem with staining/roots. I'm getting ready to plant a little one myself. Wish me luck!
The common name, oxhorn bucida, refers to a flower gall which resembles a green bean and is caused by eriophyid mites on the species, rarely on the 'Shady Lady' cv. Staining is sometimes cited as a reason not to use this plant near sidewalks, etc. The staining is NOT caused by the leaves nor the fruit, which is not juicy, but rather a single dry nutlet crowned with a persistent calyx (some call it a coriaceous drupe). The staining is caused by caterpillar frass. The black olive caterpillar or "bungee" caterpillar rapels around and gets in people's faces. Not a problem every year, maybe every 5 to 7 years it occurs in large numbers. The caterpillar feeds on the flowers, leaves and the galls! The 'Shady Lady' is a fine textured tree with a constrained growth habit. A nice choice in south Florida. Leaf damage reported at 25 degrees F.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Canoga Park, California Lake Forest, California Big Coppitt Key, Florida Big Pine Key, Florida Boca Raton, Florida Broadview-pompano Park, Florida Cudjoe Key, Florida Duck Key, Florida Florida City, Florida Islamorada, Florida Key Largo, Florida Key West, Florida Longboat Key, Florida Miami Beach, Florida Naples, Florida Pembroke Pines, Florida Port Charlotte, Florida Punta Gorda, Florida South Venice, Florida Sugarloaf Shores, Florida Tavernier, Florida Christiansted, Virgin Islands