OCHNA SERRULATATree Number: 479.1
This small semi-deciduous to evergreen shrub is usually 1 to 2m in height, but can reach 6m. It has a slender stem with smooth, brown bark. The elliptical leaves are 13-50mm long and can be narrow with blunt or rounded tips and a rounded base. The toothed leaf margins have upright pointed teeth. In young spring foliage, the leaves are a stunning pinkish-bronze, turning to glossy green when mature.
This small tree is covered with fragrant yellow blossoms in spring, from September to November, each flower about 20 mm in diameter and appear at the branches’ tips. Even though the petals drop quite soon, they make a stunning show while open. The fruits are attached to the sepals, which are persistent, and whilst the fruit has been developing, the sepals have enlarged and turned bright red, in most cases turning the whole bush red. These fruits are suspended below bright-red sepals in a way that resembles the face of Mickey Mouse, which is how O. serrulata gets its common name – Mickey Mouse bush – from.
This tree is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds which eat the fruit.