Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cyrilla racemiflora

Cyrilla racemiflora, otherwise known as Titi (rhymes with bye-bye) Shrub. This is a small tree or large shrub. It is native to damp places on the east coast of the US from Maryland south. The usual height is 10-15 feet though in optimal conditions they can be twice that tall. In nature, they prefer to form a thicket, but a single specimen is quite a handsome tree/bush. It is deciduous in the north, evergreen in the south. Leaves, which are a shiny green, turn orange/red in the fall. It prefers acidic soil and a damp place, but once established it can tolerate a more dry location, so if that is all you have, just keep it well watered for the first season or two. It can be propagated from seed or root cuttings. The flowers are quite fragrant and contain a large quantity of nectar which the bees just love. The trunk eventually becomes quite gnarly and interesting and so pruning the lower branches back after a few years will expose the trunk and add yet more interest to the garden. These are not seen all that often in garden centers or even catalogs and are probably best found from someone who sells native plants.

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