Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Grewia

A genus of close to 150 species of trees, shrubs and vines that are mostly native to Asia, Australia and Africa. Some are hardy in temperate climates but most are restricted to the tropics.
The foliage on most is oval with finely serrated margins.
Most Grewias prefer full sun on moist, well drained soil.
Old plants can be renovated by hard pruning before growth begins in spring. Otherwise little pruning is needed however they can be tip pruned ( not sheared ) to keep them more compact.
Propagation can be either from half-hardened cuttings or seed.

Grewia biloba
A moderate to fast growing shrub, reaching up to 12 x 10 feet, that is native to central & eastern China & Korea. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; largest on record - 16 x 20 feet.
The deciduous ovate leaves are up to 5 x 4 ( rarely over 3 x 1.5 ) inches in size. The foliage is mid-green turning to bright yellow during autumn.
The creamy-white to yellow flowers are borne on clusters during late summer.
They are followed by small orange to red, two-lobed fruits.
Hardy north to zone 5 ( not fully tested in North America ) in full sun to partial shade. It is hardy in southern Michigan but in the Chicago area is typically a perennial rather than shrub after most winters. It has been known to tolerate as low as -22 F but does require hot summers thus growing poorly in much of western Europe and the British Isles.





Grewia occidentalis
A fast growing shrub to small tree native to South Africa. The largest on record is 26 x 15 feet though usually much smaller.
The leaves are up to 4 inches in length.
The flowers, up to 1.5 inches wide are light pinkish-purple.
The flowers are followed by purple-red 4-lobed fruits up to an inch wide.
Hardy zone 8 to 11

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