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Ehretia - Growing Guide
Over the years we have offered E. dicksonii and E. anacua on our website. Having now grown these peculiar deciduous trees to maturity at 20ft plus it is not atall easy to see the difference between the two. However, if you want to grow an unusual hardy tree which few will recognise, this is perhaps the one for you to try.
The latest reference books say that ehretia are frost tender but we would strongly disagree. The Hillier Arboretum and Kew have fine mature specimens.
The bark of ehretia is grey-brown and deeply ridged. The branches grow at odd angles and intertwine amongst themselves to create an odd effect when you lock up into the tree. The bark on the branches is also ridged. Strangely none of the reference books mention this peculiar characteristic.
The large elliptic leaves themselves are peculiar as well. The topside is coarse and rough like sandpaper and could readily scar the skin. The white flowers appear in May in flattish panicles 2-4in across which stand proud to the leaves. Sadly not a nice scent.
Again the reference books say that ehretia does not set seed. However our trees do produce greenish yellow fruits which turn eventually black. They are quick to germinate when sown in the spring.
Other species of ehretia may very well be tender. We are currently experimenting with new species and will let you know. The two which we offer are however not!