Form: A shrub or small tree.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid.
Mature Size: 12-15' high and 8-10' wide.
Flowers: Small, 0.25" diameter, greenish-yellow, clustered, male and female are separate,
some plants have only one sex, others have both sexes. In close proximity, the plant produces a strong
odor when dispersing pollen.
Bloom: Early spring.
Fruit: Small seed capsule with 3-4 papery wings, 3/4" wide, turning green to tan.
Leaves: Green, narrow, to 4 " long, glossy on top, resinous surface, reddish mid-ribs.
One variety, 'Purpurea', has purple leaves. This plant provides moderate shade.
Stems: No thorns.
Roots: Aggressive. It may rob nearby plants of water.
Wildlife: A habitat for nesting birds and insects. The seeds attract birds.
Toxic / Danger: All parts of the plant are mildly poisonous.
Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8-11. Young plants are adversely affected by prolonged freezes.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun. Avoid shady locations.
Water once established: Monthly during drought. Supplemental water speeds growth.
Soil: Well drained, pH 6.1-8.5 (slightly acidic to alkaline). This plant is very tolerant
of soil types.
Prune: After the last frost, prune to remove freeze damage or to reduce size. It may be shaped
as a shrub, or hedge, or trained into a tree.
Uses: Ornamental, hedge, screen, erosion control.
This plant is a member of the Soapberry family (Sapindaceae). It has become widely naturalized throughout
the world, especially in the tropics, sub-tropics and warm temperate regions.
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Latest update: February, 2019.