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Azara

Salicaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries, Flowers

These natives of lakesides and woodland edges in Chile and Argentina have attractive evergreen foliage and fluffy yellow flowers that smell like chocolate to some, vanilla to others. Blooms are followed by small, shiny berries. Need fast drainage, regular fertilizer, and protection from hot afternoon sun and cold winds. Prune after bloom to remove crowded or wayward branches.

Azara dentata (photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters)
Azara dentata (photo courtesy of Linda Lamb Peters)

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Azara dentata

Grows to 15 ft. tall and 12 ft. wide, with toothed, rounded, shiny leaves. Rounded shape makes it useful for screen or informal hedge. Tolerates considerable shade. Blooms in spring.

Azara microphylla

Best-known species. Grows slowly in youth, faster once established. Typically reaches 12–18 ft. tall and 8–12 ft. wide, but may attain a treelike 30 ft. tall in great old age. Shiny, roundish, dark green leaves. Flat-branching habit and neatly arranged foliage make it natural for an espalier or freestanding wall plant. Blooms in late winter. ‘Variegata’ has leaves edged in creamy white.

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