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Common Name:

Japanese Blueberry Tree

Scientific Name:

Elaeocarpus decipiens

Family Name:

Elaeocarpaceae

Description:

In its native range Japanese Blueberry Tree is a 40 ft to 60 ft tall tree, but the ultimate size is unknown in our region and smaller cultivars are the most common plants in the Texas nursery trade. Young plants are frequently planted as hedges or screens, but they may quickly out-grow these uses on small sites. The few older plants in the region tend to be come or open of canopy with age. Dark glossy evergreen leaves, red senescing leaves, and blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) like flowers are the primary assets.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, large shrub, tree, small tree, medium tree, tropical

Exposure:

sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Greenish white to white, inverted urn-shape, fragrant.

Blooming Period:

Spring

Fruit Characteristics:

Small olive-like drupe, green maturing to blue-black.

Height:

potentially 40 ft to 60 ft

Width:

potentially 20 ft to 40 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Low Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: High Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

7.00
Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

More tolerant neutral to slightly alkaline soils than traditional broadleaved evergreens such as Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Camellias. Cold tolerance is minimal in USDA zone 8.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.