Schima superba var 'kankoensis' is an extremely polymorphic, evergreen tree native from India east to Indonesia and Taiwan. In nature, the trees will reach 120 feet (~35 meters) tall with a spread half as wide. The glossy green leaves are elliptic, acuminate and will reach up to 7 inches (17.5 cm) long by 2 inches (5 cm) wide. New growth in spring is bright red. The wood is used in construction. The trees are hardy in USDA zones 10-12.
Blooming: In spring, the flowers buds are scarlet, opening to a purplish cream to white. The flowers are up to 2½ inches (6.3 cm) across and are mildly fragrant and showy.
Culture: Schima superba var 'kankoensis' need full sun to partial shade, with a rich peaty soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix that consists of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand or perlite. During the growing season, the plants are kept moist but not overly wet and are fertilized on a monthly basis. If they are kept too wet, the leaves turn an off color of green. The size of the plant is easily controlled with container size and selective pruning. The trees tend to produce a lot of suckers and these should be removed to keep the desired form. During the winter months, water is somewhat restricted, but the trees are never allowed to dry thoroughly.
Propagation: Schima superba var 'kankoensis' is propagated in the spring from cuttings or from seed.
Schima superba var 'kankoensis' was featured as Plant of the Week January 28-February 3, 2005.
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 the late 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.