A fragrant winter flowering small evergreen tree Azara microphylla has foliage that in itself is attractive throughout the year, however with masses of little golden yellow flowers held beneath the drooping branches in winter it does have another attraction.
Grow it for the Fragrance
This really is a plant to grow for the fragrance, its not only that the flowers are ‘stunning’, they appear in masses, rather small and ‘fluffy’ however they are very fragrant.
What do Azara microphylla flowers smell like?
Often described as a ‘vanilla’ scent, we think it smells a little like caramel as well.
We have called this a shrub, however perhaps with its growth habit you could more correctly call this a small evergreen tree. It can reach 4-7m depending on conditions. most often in cultivation a height of 4m is usual. The leaves are small and held close to the branches. Also know as the ‘Box Leafed’ Azara for the shape of the foliage.
Is this a good plant ? Its been in cultivation for over 100 years. Not promoted much by landscapers, but much appreciated by gardeners in the know as a very good tree for small gardens.
How to Grow Azara microphylla
From Chile and Argentina this lovely plant does need some protection from frost especially when young. A semi shaded position in a humus rich soil is best. Some moisture during summer is required.
- Choose a position where the plant is protected from frosts and cold winds.
- Good morning sun and dappled afternoon shade is ideal
- Dig the soil over well and add some compost and aged cow manure if needed.
- Plant at the same height as you Azara was in the container/
- Water in well with a liquid seaweed fertiliser
- Mulch around the plant to maintain a cool moist root run.
- Water through dry dry periods during the first few summers.
- Renew the mulch each year.
- Use a general purpose organic slow release fertiliser each spring.
- Rake back the mulch.
- Water the soil well spread the fertiliser lightly.
- Water again and replace the mulch.
- In the right position, with a little space this is tree that does not need pruning.
- You can prune back dead wood at any time. If pruning to size or shape, prune just after flowering.
- You could try growing Azara microphylla as an espalier or ‘Wall Shrub’ in a courtyard if space is a problem, the foliage is a little sparse however the plant can still look great.
- Always fertilise and mulch immediately after pruning.
- If you have the space let it grow into a small tree, on a a warm spring day you will rewarded with a very pleasant vanilla fragrance.
Semi hardwood cuttings taken in summer are the best method of propagation.
- Botanical Name: Azara microphylla
- Common Names: Box-Leaf Azara, Chinchin
- Family: Salicaceae
- Origin: Chile and Southern Argentina.
- Growth habit: Evergreen upright shrub or tree.
- Height: 4 – 6 metres
- Width: 2 – 4 metres
- Growth Rate: Medium to Fast.
- Position: Full sun to a little shade
- Soil: Humus rich well drained and moist.
- Flowers: Small fluffy bright yellow flowers.
- Flowering Time: Late winter
- Fragrant : Yes
- Foliage: Deep green, small and rounded.
- Pruning Time: Immediately after flowering
- Drought tolerant: No
- Salt tolerant: Medium
- Azara lanceolata lanceleaf azara
- Azara serrata
- Azara celastrina
Azara microphylla are available for sale from the following nurseries
125 Palmer Rd Jindivick 3818
Open Thursday - Sunday 10am - 4pm
Specialising in growing and selling Rare and Unusual Trees, shrubs Perennials Bulbs and Climbers, a unique nursery with amazing stock.
82 David Hill Rd Monbulk (Opposite Vika Ave)
Japanese Maple and Magnolia specialists, Wholesale and Retail. Large range of other deciduous and evergreen ornamental trees and shrubs.