Sunday, April 12, 2009

Azara microphylla – Boxleaf Azara

Azara microphylla flower

One of our favorite scents of spring comes from our Azara microphylla (common name: Boxleaf Azara) tree. The genus Azara is genus of flowering plants in the Salicaceae (willow) family and A. microphylla is native to Chile. This year our Azara is about a month later than its usual February / March bloom. It's in bloom now and the yard is filled with the smell of vanilla, as some have described it. Here at Travelmarx we prefer to describe its scent as crème brûlée with a hint of chocolate. The smell is intoxicating and it lasts for several weeks. (The flowers are hermaphrodites but we’ve never observed fruit so it must not be getting pollinated?)

Besides the flower scent, a plus for us is that the tree is evergreen with small dark green leaves. It has a wispy look to it that responds well to pruning. We never water it and it seems fine perhaps because it is established (6-7 years old). The only downside of this Azara is that it sheds some of its leaves in early winter and they fall to the ground and turn black. They don’t seem to decompose easily so you may need to do some clean up to keep areas clean underneath it.

Update: April 2011

This year the tree again is fragrant in April. Maybe this is its bloom time and the February / March bloom observation was the outlier. The tree seems to be looking thinner and scraggly. The scent though is just as intoxicating. We are adding a couple of more photos.

Azara Leaves and Blooms
Azara microphylla
Azara microphylla
Azara microphylla

The Azara Looking a Bit Thin at the End of Winter
Azara microphylla

1 comment:

  1. looks like a rodadendrum. but then again, at 5 a.m. with no sleep, everything looks like a rodadendrum...

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