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Ochna serrulata, photo courtesy of Saxon Holt/PhotoBotanic
Ochna serrulata, photo courtesy of Saxon Holt/PhotoBotanic

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Zone
Zones 14-24, H1, H2
Partial Sun
Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Ochna serrulata

Bird's-eye Bush, Mickey Mouse Plant

Evergreen, Shrubs, Decorative fruit or berries, Flowers

This South African shrub grows slowly to 4–8 ft. high and wide. Oblong leaves are leathery, fine toothed, bronzy in spring, deep green later. Early summer flowers are the size of buttercups (Ranunculus). After the yellow petals fall, sepals turn vivid red; then five or more green, seed-like fruits protrude from red center. Fruits later turn glossy jet black, in strong contrast to red sepals; at this stage, the configuration can be said to resemble the eyes, ears, and nose of a mouse. Prefers slightly acid soil. Good in a tub or box or as a small espalier. Makes an interesting accent in a shrub border.

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