Eucryphia - Leatherwood
DESCRIPTION: This group consists of five tender, evergreen and deciduous trees or shrubsnative of South America and Australia. These plants produce attractive white flowers with noticeable yellow stamens, from mid-summer to early fall, once they are a few years old. The flowers have four petals and grow up to 21/2 inches long. E. cordifolia is a large, evergreen shrub or, in good conditions, a broad, columnar tree up to 40 feet high. Its oblong leaves have wavy edges and are usually heart-shaped at the base. This variety is fairly alkaline tolerant. E. glutinosa is a large, deciduous shrub or small tree; however, it is evergreen in the wild. Its erect-growing branches are covered with pinnate leaves, which become tinged with red and orange in the autumn. Its white flowers are borne in profusion in mid- to late summer. E. lucida (Leatherwood) is a large, evergreen shrub or small tree that is clothed with simple, oblong-shaped leaves that are covered with bloom underneath. The pleasantly scented, drooping flowers are up to 2 inches across and are produced in early to mid-summer. A variety of E. lucida, called 'Pink Cloud', has flowers with pink-edged petals fading to white, with the bases stained red.
POTTING: These plants can be grown in mild climates only. They should be placed in a sunny, sheltered location in moist loam that is preferably acidic. However, they can be grown in slightly alkaline soil if large quantities of organic matter are incorporated in. The roots should be shaded from hot sun and this can be accomplished by planting a shallow-rooted, noncompetitive ground cover such as Erica carnea (Spring Heath; Winter Heath) Go see Erica. Pruning is normally unnecessary. Eucrypha should be planted while they are still small as it is difficult to move large plants and they dislike root disturbance.
PROPAGATION: Seeds can be sown in sandy soil in a greenhouse or frame when they are available. The shrubs can be increased by layering in September. Cuttings can also be used but they are not very successful.
VARIETIES: E. cordifolia; E. glutinosa; E. hillieri 'Winton'; E. intermedia 'Rostrevor'; E. lucida (Leatherwood) & var. Pink Cloud; E. milliganii; E. nymansensis 'Nymansay'.
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