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Gevuina Growing Guide
Growing Gevuina avellana
Commonly known as ‘Chilean Nut Trees’
This is a multi-stemmed, handsome and very unusual evergreen tree from the moist forests in mountains in Chile.
The mature tree at Caerhays is 30-40ft high with huge pinnate leaves of up to 15in in length and up to 12in wide. It has a dense habit and the new shoots are covered in a soft brown down as are the leaf stalks.
Many racemes of flowers appear in August on to October. Each carries 20 to 25 pairs of ivory white flowers with a spider-like appearance. The white flowers have a tinge of red and green in our ancient plant which adds to the impressive spectacle. Only a Chilean plant could produce quite such a show at the very end of the flowering season.
Alongside the flowers you can find (usually) solitary black fruits from the previous season’s flowers. The fruits are red and fleshy at first becoming black and hard. About the size of an acorn when ready for collection.
Despite its appearance this is a fully hardy tree requiring a fertile, acidic and well drained soil. It does best with us in dappled shade and the nuts are best sown in a cold frame. Propagation from cuttings is slow but readily achievable in the mist bench.