Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Anacua, Ehretia anacua, is a must have for any homeowner wanting to attract wildlife to their garden. We have planted two in the south-east corner of the Arboretum. A few of Anacua's many common names are Sugarberry, Knockaway, and Sandpaper Tree. The latter describes the rough texture of its leaves. Cold hardy to zone 8, Anacua can grow to 50 feet tall and its canopy will be almost as wide as it is tall. As an established tree, it is very drought tolerant.

A mature tree will have a highly textured, gnarled trunk, and will often be multi-trunked. The foliage is dark green and extremely dense.

Be sure to plant Anacua in a well-drained location. It requires little or no fertilizer. It is considered evergreen but will drop some or all of its leaves for a short period during the winter.

Anacua tends to have one big flush of blooms in the spring with the thick clusters of white fragrant blooms heavily covering the tree. After a summer rain, some trees will bloom again. You may have one tree in an area bloom and the others not. In our last house, we had a gorgeous multi-trunked Anacua. Inevitably only half of the tree bloomed - and then a few weeks later, the other half would decide it should put on a few blooms too. I imagine I am wrong when I describe it as multi-trunked. It must have been multiple trees that sprouted close to each other. Butterflies and bees love Anacua blooms as much as I do.

These immature fruits will ripen to a bright orange from April to June. The branches will droop with the weight of the fruit. The fruit drop can be messy, so don't plant Anacua where it will grow over paved areas. Birds feed on these berry's and nest in Anacua's dense foliage.


Nancy J. Bond said...

A beautiful tree with wonderful blooms.

Melynda Nuss said...

Where can you buy one? I've had natives spring up in all the wrong places in my yard, but I've never been able to dig them up and transplant them successfully.