Luma apiculata - Chilean Myrtle


  • The small tree or large shrub is from South-America. It has a cinnamon coloured, twisted trunk and pure white, fragrant flowers in the Summer. It flowers over a long period of time, from early Summer right to the Autumn. In the Autumn time, the tree produces dark blue, edible berries. The evergreen plant has small, dark green leaves. It is ideal to place it against a wall or near the house / at a garden entrance. It branches out freely but can be pruned further; it is also an ideal bonsai subject. As the fruits and leaves are edible, it can be considered as wild food.


Other common names:   Temu, Shortleaf Stopper
Native to:     Chile, Argentina, along river banks
Family:     Myrtaceae (Myrtus Family)
Habit (UK conditions):  large evergreen shrub with twisted trunk
Max. size in 10 years:   10m x 3m
Main value:    pure white, fragrant flowers, orange-brown (cinnamon) bark, dark green, aromatic leaves
Flower colour:    white
Flowering period:   June - September
Autumn coloration:   -
Preferences:    wide range of soils, full sun (drought tolerant, prefers slightly acidic soils)
Hardiness:    hardy to around -10C
Is it toxic?    no
Is it edible?    yes, fruit is edible raw or cooked - has a sweet taste, leaves can be used sparingly as a flavouring for stew (crushed)


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