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Ugniberry    

(From native Chilean name, ui.) Myrtaceae. Five to fifteen species of shrubs to around 3m. Leaves opposite, persistent, coriaceous, mainly elliptic to lanceolate. Inflorescence a solitary, nodding flower, borne in axils of leaves or bracts; flowers usually pentamerous, less often both pentamerous and tetramerous on a single plant; corolla campanulate; stamens not exceeding the corolla, filaments short, the anthers elongate. Fruit a berry, the seeds few to many, shiny light brown, small, around 1-2mm. Americas. Distinguished from other genera of Chilean Myrtaceae by nodding flowers and the stamens shorter than the petals. Z9.

Cultivation   

Ugni molinae is grown for its glossy evergreen foliage, (tolerant of close clipping), and for the profusion of small blooms, produced even on young plants. With shelter from cold winds, it will tolerate temperatures to -10C. Grow in full sun in a moderately fertile, well-drained soil enriched with leafmould or other well-composted organic matter. In pots, use a freely draining, medium-fertility, loam-based mix, water moderately when in growth, reducing as light levels and temperatures fall to keep just moist in winter at a minimum temperature of 5C. Repot every other year in early spring. Prune in spring to maintain size and shape and to remove frosted growth. Propagate by semi-ripe nodal cuttings in summer rooted in sand in a closed shaded frame or in a closed case with bottom heat. Also by basal cuttings of the current years growth taken in late autumn and rooted in a shaded frost-free frame, or by simple layering.

Ugni molinae   

Shrub to around 2m, obscurely white-pubescent on twigs and young growth. Leaves 1.4-3.6 x 0.8-2cm, ovate, lanceolate or elliptic, glabrous or with a few scattered hairs, acute to acuminate, midvein impressed above, prominent beneath; petiole shallowly channelled, 2-4mm. Flowers in the axils of leaves or bracts; calyx lobes triangular, 2-5 x 1-2.5mm; petals suborbicular, fleshy, 5-8mm, pink; stamens 40-60, 2-4mm. Fruit subglobose, around 1cm diameter, dark red. Chile, W Argentina.

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