T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Azara microphylla (Vanilla tree)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Azara
Species: A. microphylla
Binomial name: Azara microphylla
Common name: Vanilla tree, Box leaf azara

Azara microphylla is an evergreen shrub that grows in the under-story of Chilean and Argentina forests. The species' name, microphylla, means small leaves. This exotic tree is now fully naturalised in New Zealand.
The plant has a slow growth rate and can grow up to 10tall and 4m wide when mature. It is the hardiest of the azaras, with standing temperatures down to −15 °C. The trees branches form layers of arching foliage of small, shiny, rich dark green leaves. 
In early spring the tree is covered with small clusters of vanilla scented gold hermaphrodite flowers.
This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit

For more details visit:http://www.nzflora.info/factsheet/Taxon/Azara_microphylla.html#5