Growing into the craziest web of tangled downward arching branches, this South African native creates a 10-15’ tall and wide, wild and wonderful mass of contorted branches that can be pruned to either a shrub or tree form. In the Spring it produces dense 5-8” flower clusters of lilac and white directly attached to the branches (pollinator heaven!) and shortly thereafter sweetly scented orange-red fruits that birds love! Perhaps the most whimsically beautiful when its multi-branching trunks are pruned up 3-4’ allowing the upper branches to fall in a tangled weeping tousle. I’ve also seen it trained as the loveliest bonsai I’ve ever seen. A slow-moderate grower, Ehretia rigida likes low water once it is established (average water for the first several seasons) and well-draining soil. Provide rich compost upon planting and an additional top dressing once a year. Deer resistant once established.
Gardener at Large