Alyxia daphnoides is a small evergreen shrub with whorled leaves. The dark glossy green leathery leaves are 1½ inches (3.8 cm) long by ½ inch (1.3 cm) wide. Our plant, at 2 years from seed, is only 12 inches (30 cm) tall with a spread of 8 inches (20 cm). The plant freely branches and is very compact. Its small size and compact habit makes it a good bonsai subject.
Blooming Time: Our plants in the greenhouse bloom in late fall to early winter, with a few flushes of flowers in the spring. Individual flowers are 0.25 inches (0.8 cm) long by 0.25 inches (0.8 cm) across. The pure white flowers are particularly showy against the dark green foliage.
Culture: Alyxia daphnoides need full sun to partial shade with a rich well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. The plants seem to be a little drought resistant, but during the growing season, the plants are kept on the moist side and fertilized monthly with a balanced fertilizer. After flowering, we let the plants dry somewhat for the winter, but pay careful attention to make sure that the plants never dry out completely. Since the plants are very compact, very little pruning is needed.
Propagation: Alyxia daphnoides is propagated by cuttings and from seed. Cuttings are slow to root. Seeds sown at 72° F (22° C) germinate in 14-21 days.
Alyxia daphnoides was featured as Plant of the Week October 8-14, 2004.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.