Hardy, Adaptable, Easy to Grow, Showy Fragrant Flowers, Attracts Birds, Wildlife Food\/Shelter, Cold, Heat and Wind Tolerant
Grown for its 1\/3 inch exquisite fruit in shades of turquoise or lapis lazuli, unlike any other ornamental; a mature covered with bright berries in the sun is extraordinarily beautiful.
Native to , Japan and Himalayas, Sapphire Berry is a deciduous large multi-stemmed shrub or small low-branching tree typically growing 10 to 20 feet tall with a spreading habit. The bark on mature specimens has gray ridges and dark fissures. Foliage is ovate to obovate, finely toothed, dark green leaves to 3" long with no real fall color. Fragrant, cream-white flowers, 1\/2 inch wide, are borne on 2 to 3 inch panicles in spring, on last year's wood. Fruit is a bright turquoise or sapphire blue, 1\/3 inch wide drupe, ripening in fall. Birds are very attracted to the fruit. Problem free, easy to grow, not fussy as long as the soil is well drained. Not bothered by pests. An exellent plant for the back of the border, as a screen or small tree.
Other Names: Sapphireberry, Asiatic sweetleaf
Native Range: Himilayas, eastern Asia, China and Japan
Culture: Plant in groups of three or more to insure acceptable level of cross-pollination and resultant fruit production. Flowers on previous year's growth, but light, late winter pruning is still recommended even though some of the buds will be removed.
Uses: Best in groups in the shrub border or bird garden. Also effective as an unpruned screen.