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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Olmediella betschleriana - Guatemalan Holly tree

The Guatemalan Holly tree is an evergreen tree 25-35' tall generally upright or with a spreading habit but always dense, and if unpruned with a low canopy, but this one was pruned up because it sits on the driveway. Reportedly makes a great hedge.



The flowers are what really caught my eye. Plants are dioecious, these are the males.


Leaves alternate, simple, ovate to oblong, 3-5" long, narrowly or broadly, dark green, leathery, thick and glossy with holly-like margins. Slower growing stem present leaves without the holly like margins and are more round. New growth in the spring is red or bronze.




Maybe hard to see in this picture because the fruit is green, but they are large, up to 3" round but flattened like a biscuit. Eventually turning black on the ground, but are green at maturity.



Misidentification:
Looks like a holly, but with really funny holly flowers…

Location:
Aptos
505 Bayview Drive

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