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Sakaki Cleyera japonica

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
klay-YER-uh juh-PON-ih-kuh
Description

Japanese cleyra is a broadleaf evergreen shrub or small tree native to Asia in the Pentaphylacaceae family.  The family name was previously Theaceae, and the genus is named after German botanist and physician Andreas Cleyer.  The species name japonica indicates the plant's origin in Japan.

Plant this shrub in high organic matter well-drained soil in the full sun to partial shade.  In hot southern summers, it appreciates afternoon shade and it can in fact tolerate almost full shade.  Once established, they are quite drought tolerant but be sure to plant in an area with some protection from strong winds. 

Use as a foundation planting, in a shrub border, as a hedge or privacy screen.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.  

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Fortunei'
'Fortunei'
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#small tree#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#low maintenance#winter interest#privacy#flowering shrub#bronze leaves#foundation planting#screening#black fruits#fantz#leathery leaves#late spring flowers#evergreen shrub#evergreen tree#wind damage prone#shrub borders
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Fortunei'
'Fortunei'
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#small tree#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#low maintenance#winter interest#privacy#flowering shrub#bronze leaves#foundation planting#screening#black fruits#fantz#leathery leaves#late spring flowers#evergreen shrub#evergreen tree#wind damage prone#shrub borders
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cleyera
    Species:
    japonica
    Family:
    Pentaphylacaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Considered sacrade in the Shinto religion in Japan.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • 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:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    Shiny black fruits
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    White flowers appear solitary or in small clusters of 2-5 blooms May to June. Flowers are 1/2" across, fragrant and bell-shaped and hang down.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leathery leaves are darker above and lighter below and resemble camellias new leaves are bronze in color turning green.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Smoother and light gray
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Small Tree
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought