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MERYTA denhamii

Image of Meryta denhamii

Family

Araliaceae

Botanical Name

MERYTA denhamii

Plant Common Name

Meryta

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A lush, broadleaf evergreen small tree from subtropical New Caledonia, east of Australia, Denham's meryta has large, coarse glossy foliage of a dark green. While an upright single-stemmed plant when young, it eventually branches to create an irregular but rounded canopy that casts dense shade.

The very long tongue-like leathery leaves get larger with longer daylength and with ample water. Wavy-edged and dark green, they have crinkled texture and prominent yellowed veins. At a quick glance, the clusters of foliage on branch ends makes this tree resemble tropical stinkwood (Gustavia) or fiddleleaf fig (Ficus lyrata) on growth hormone. In midwinter, the flowering occurs. This species is dioecious, meaning plants are either fully male or female in gender as determined by the blossoms. Only the female's greenish five-petaled flowers, when pollinated, will form the globe-like fruit with 12-16 fused berries. In both sexes, the flower clusters occur at the ends of branches nestled among leaves.

Grow Denham's meryta in full sun (in cool summer areas) to partial shade in a moist, deep, fertile soil that has good drainage. It tolerates moderate saltspray winds but is intolerant of cold, even light frosts can be detrimental. Use it as a small accent or foundation tree for shade or as a tropicalesque foliage plant for a mixed border. If healthy, leaves are rarely dropped, making it nice for use around patios and swimming pools. In spacious medians, it is a pleasant small boulevard tree in subtropical regions.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    18'-25' / 5.5m - 7.6m

  • Width

    18'-22' / 5.5m - 6.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green, Light Green

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Ivory

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Shade Trees, Street Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No