A feature we hope to run through the year- Plant of the Week. We want to introduce you to some interesting plants that are excellent for our Northwest gardens and landscapes.
This week: Azara microphylla
Boxleaf azara is a broadleaf evergreen that is uncommon in local gardens, but an easy to grow one. It has small, evergreen leaves, and it us and upright shrub that can eventually reach 10 or 15 feet in height. The best part about including Azara in your yard really comes around this time of year, when the tiny yellow blooms appear. These prolific blossoms smell strongly…of cheap chocolate candy!
This plant works well in partial to full sun, and is drought tolerant once established if planted in rich soils. We’ve seen it trained to grow almost flat against a wall, making it a great foundation plant.
For those who want a little more color from an evergreen shrub, there is a variegated Boxleaf Azara for lighting up a shadier area. The variegated form seems a little more tender in the winter, but would do well in sites protected from the coldest winter winds.
Native to Chile and Argentina, Boxleaf Azara was introduced to the United States in 1861. It has been common in the California nursery trade since the early 1900’s.
Azara microphylla is considered a Great Plant Picks.