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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Azara microphylla - Boxleaf Azara

The boxleaf Azara is a small evergreen tree with an upright to arching habit reaching 15- 20' tall. Most of the time you will see them growing as multi-stemmed specimens or pruned flat against walls. I have seen plants in landscapes and have not been impressed with the shape, often leggy, too open and a bit stiff. The variegated selection is more popular.

Foliage is alternate, simple, obovate, about an inch long, margins more or less smooth but you may find some small teeth. The foliage is borne on a flattened branching pattern.

I mentioned that the leaves are alternate, but they appear to be opposite or close. They develop a leaf like stipule at each leaf that is smaller than the true leaf.

Flowers are yellow, borne in the spring or late winter in the axils of the leaves. Fragrant, smelling of chocolate or vanilla, easy to miss if not looking for them, and I don't ever seem to be looking for them.

Luma apiculata foliage is similar, especially the foliage appearing to be opposite, but its not.

Santa Cruz
160 or so Sylvar St. across from the Mission Park, up against the wall.

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