Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cyrilla

Cyrilla racemiflora ( Swamp Cyrilla )
A fast growing small tree typically reaching around 20 feet in temperate climates ( larger in tropics ) that is native to streambanks and swamps from eastern Texas to southeastern Virginia; south to the Gulf Coast and central Florida. It is also native to Oaxaca, Mexico; south through Central America to Columbia and northern Brazil; also the Caribbean. It is hardy much further north and may even be native locally in Delaware. It sometimes forms thickets.
Some records include: 20 years - 27 x 20 feet; largest on record - 80 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 9 feet; longest lived - 1200 years. Both records recorded in Central America.
The alternately arranged, lance-shaped semi-evergreen leaves, up to 4 x 2 inches , are glossy deep green above, bright green beneath, turning to scarlet or deep red and persisting late in autumn.
The fragrant, white ( rarely pink flowers ) are borne in racemes, up to 6 inches in length, originating from the base of the current years growth during late summer into early autumn. The flowers attract bees and are useful for Honey production.
They are followed by conical, dried, brown fruits, up to 0.1 inches.
The fruits mature during fall and persist well into the following year.
The attractive bark is red-brown.
Hardy zones 6b to 11 in sun to partial shade preferring light acidic, well drained soil with abundant peat moss worked in. Very flood tolerant but also tolerates much drier sites compared to where it occurs in the wild. Generally easy to grow, except on clay. Propagation is from seed or semi-ripe cutting.

* photos taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA



* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Gardens, Washington, DC


'Graniteville'

* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Gardens, Washington, DC


'Scott Arboretum Clone'
Similar to regular Cyrilla racemiflora except for having absolutely no winter dieback in Philly where all other clones in open field trials at Scott Arboretum suffered winter damage.
Hardy north to zone 6, may'be even 5.

RELATED SPECIES

Cyrilla arida ( Shrub Titi )
Similar to Cyrilla racemiflora but dwarf in all its parts, reaching a maximum size of only 12 x 8 ( rarely over6 x 6 ) feet. It is native to sandy pine barrens in central Florida and is likely now extinct in the wild. Some records include: 7 years - 4 x 4 feet. It is evergreen in mild climates. It makes an attractive landscape plant.
The attractive narrow foliage is glossy deep green.
The fragrant, white flowers are borne on abundant racemes, up to 6 inches in length, during late summer.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 ( 7 on protected sites ) on sandy, well drained soil. It is very heat and drought tolerant.

Cyrilla parvifolia ( Littleleaf Cyrilla )
A large shrub or rarely a small tree native only to swamps in southern Georgia and northern Florida, where it is rare. Some record include: growth rate - 8 inches; largest on record - 33 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet.
The leaves are much smaller, only up to 1.5 inches in length.
The flowers are also borne in much shorter racemes, only up to 2.5 inches in length.
Hardy zones 8 to 9 on sandy, well drained soil.

* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


Cliftonia monophylla ( Titi )
Also called Buckwheat Tree. A very ornamental, moderate growing, evergreen, small tree reaching around 20 feet that is native to swamps in the southeastern U.S. from eastern Louisiana to South Carolina; south to the Gulf Coast and northern Florida. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 2 feet; 5 years - 5 x 5 feet ( avg ); largest on record - 60 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet. It often forms thickets in the wild.
The alternately arranged, smooth edged, evergreen leaves, up to 4 x 1 inches, are glossy deep green above, pale green beneath ( without the conspicuous veins beneath that are seen on Cyrilla racemiflora ).
The fragrant white flowers are borne during in erect slender racemes during early spring before the new foliage emerges.
They are followed by very persistant 4-winged fruits, up to 0.3 inches, that are borne in narrow clusters.
The bark is red-brown.
Hardy zones 7 to 9.

* historic archive photo

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