Monday, 31 March 2008

Indigenous Beauties : Tabernaemontana elegans

Tabernaemontana elegans
Toad Tree

This small to medium sized tree is perfect for a small garden. It reaches about 3-8m in height, with a single roughly fissured corky trunk. Its evergreen foliage is always a rich glossy green colour. It bears clusters of white star shaped flowers from the start of spring to the end of summer. The fruit is usually in pairs, with a look and texture similar to a toads skin.

It will grow in semi shade to full sun, and requires moderate water in well draining soil. It is frost hardy to an extent.

I love this tree for so many reasons. You can't go wrong, whether you choose it for its small size, foliage that always looks amazing, its pretty flowers or unusual fruit and bark.


Esther Montgomery said...

It surprises me that more isn't made of the trunks of trees.

Mostly, the emphasis is on foliage, flowers and fruit.

But the bark on trees is at nose level - and the shape the trunk makes (especially in a small space) can make a dramatic impact.

I used to photograph bark and trunks in black and white - and would mesmerise myself with the results.



Aiyana said...

What an interesting tree, and very handsome too. I suppose full sun doesn't apply to a harsh climate like Arizona!

Unknown said...

You're right Esther, the value of bark on trees is highly under-rated. There are several trees that I would plant just for their amazing bark - Commiphora harveyi being one of them.

I guess full sun can be a relative term - I wonder how well it would really do in Arizona?

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