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Forestiera pubescens


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Forestiera pubescens

  1. 1. * Desert Olive – Forestiera pubescens var. pubescens (for-es-tee-AIR-uh pew-BES-ens) Family: Oleaceae (Olive Family) Native to: Southwestern N. America from TX & CO west to CA and south to Mexico. In CA, in foothills of Sierras, Desert Mountains, Tehachapi; dry slopes and washes in creosote bush scrub, chaparral, coastal sage scrub and foothill woodland. large shrub/tree mature height: 12-18 ft. mature width: 10-15 ft. Winter-deciduous woody shrub to small tree. Stems have irregular growth habit, sometimes almost vine-like, with spiny branchlets. Young bark dark – older bark white, somewhat like aspen. Leaves bright green in spring, provide yellow fall color. Spreads and may be thicket-forming. Growth characteristics: Blooms in early spring, often before the leaves. Plants are dioecious – separate male & female plants – must have both for fruiting. Flowers are small, yellow. Fruits are small (~ ¼ inch) blue-black olives. Fruit is very showy. Blooms/fruits: Uses in the garden: Very adaptable in the garden. Makes a great hedge or screen, alone of mixed with other desert shrubs. Can be pruned to form a small, drought-tolerant tree. Fine for areas that receive little maintenance – or can be managed as a more traditional garden shrub. Nice accent plant with fall color, showy berries, white bark. Tolerates harsh winds – strong wood. Sensible substitute for: Non-native large shrubs; privets, Siberian Pea-shrub, European olive. Excellent habitat plant. Provides early nectar for pollinators and larval food for Hairstreak butterflies and Sphinx Moths. Birds eat the fruits. Provides dense cover. Attracts: Requirements: Element Sun Soil Water Fertilizer Other Requirement Full sun to part shade; adaptable. Any local soil; not particular Water well first year; then does best at Zone 1-2 or 2 (occasional summer water). none Easy to grow. Best if regularly pruned or hedged to keep a more formal shape. Will spread with regular water – plant only male trees near riparian areas. Management: Propagation: from seed: clean seeds; plant spring. May cold treat 1 mo. by cuttings/layering: yes Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 8, 13, 20 2/2/11 © Project SOUND