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Devilwood Cartrema americana

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Osmanthus americanus
Phonetic Spelling
kar-tray-mah a-mer-ih-KAY-na
Description

Devilwood is a small, evergreen shrub or tree with a narrow, oblong crown, 15 to 20 feet tall, and sometimes reaching 50 feet. The leaves, which last year round, are opposite with a smooth to slightly wavy margin and rusty colored underside. The bark is gray-brown and finely scaly. In spring, small, urn-shaped, fragrant white flowers mature on the previous year's growth. The small tree produces a dark blue drupe that matures in the fall. This tree is uncommon in nature, but can be found in maritime forests and rich soil on the coastlines of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. It is also found in inland sandy forests. This plant is dioecious; that is, male pollinator plants are required to get a female fruit set.

Devilwood tolerates a range of soil conditions as well as wind. It prefers partial shade and moist, well drained soil. It takes well to pruning and can be shaped as desired.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems: 

No known diseases or insect pests.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#native tree#salt tolerant#cover plant#showy fruits#food source wildlife#fire medium flammability#NC native#deer resistant#caterpillars#pollinator plant#larval host plant#food source summer#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#bee friendly#Audubon#coastal plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#native tree#salt tolerant#cover plant#showy fruits#food source wildlife#fire medium flammability#NC native#deer resistant#caterpillars#pollinator plant#larval host plant#food source summer#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#bee friendly#Audubon#coastal plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cartrema
    Species:
    americana
    Family:
    Oleaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The wood of this tree is heavy and strong, but can be difficult to work. The common name Devilwood refers to the toughness and unsplittable nature of the wood.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Layering
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America, Mexico, and Honduras
    Distribution:
    Florida and Louisiana north to Virginia and west to Texas.
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides cover during the winter and extreme weather. Fruits are eaten by birds and small mammals.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Irregular
    Multi-trunked
    Open
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Blue
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Nut
    Fruit Description:
    This plant produces a dark blue drupe that hangs like an olive and matures in the fall. Displays in late summer and fall between August and October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Urn
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    In the spring, small, urn-shaped, white flowers mature on the previous years growth of the Devilwood. Flowers bloom April-May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The thick and leathery leaves of the Devilwood are 2 to 4.5 inches., opposite, simple and dark green, entire, with a smooth to slightly wavy margin, and a rusty colored underside. If grown in the sun, the leaves turn a yellow-green in the fall.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    The bark is gray-brown with warty lenticels.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Small Tree
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Wind