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Green Valley Supply's Gardening Encyclopedia

Agonis Flexuosa (Willow Peppermint Tree)

Agonis Flexuosa (Willow Peppermint Tree)

Agonis Flexuosa Peppermint Willow

Agonis Flexuosa Peppermint Willow

Flexuosa Definition - What is Flexuosa?

Flexuosa is a Latin word for 'full of bends' referring to the nature of the tree's trunk on the outside. It's used to refer to a group of trees with exact characteristics such as Agonis flexuosa.

Agonis flexuosa

Also known as Swan River peppermint, Western Australia peppermint, willow myrtle or just peppermint, it's a tree species native to Western Australia to the south west. The tree has a habit of weeping, hence its willow myrtle name.

The Noongar people, native Australians living in the south-west part of the country, refer to the tree as Wonong, Wanil, Wannang or Wonnow. It's easily recognizable in WA and the most popular of all tree species under the Agonis genus. In Perth, it's grown on the verges of roads and in parks.

Agonis is a genus whose name is borrowed from the Greek word 'agon', meaning a cluster. It refers to the manner flexuosa fruits are arranged on the tree.

Agonis flexuosa Description

Agonis flexuosa plant is a small, but strong tree. It grows up to 10 to 15 meters in height. The tree's leaves are light green, narrow and long (grow up to 150 mm in length) while the bark is brown and fibrous. The axes sprout small, white inflorescence flowers that grow in groups or clusters.

From a distance, the trees resemble a weeping willow because they tend to grow in a weeping way. Torn or crushed leaves smell like peppermint. Its hard fruit capsule can grow up to 3 or 4 mm in diameter and feature 3 valves responsible for housing tiny Agonis flexuosa seeds.

Agonis Flexuosa Cultivation

The tree thrives in sandy soils, including dunes and limestone heaths in temperate climates. They're often grown in areas where trees are grown in masses such as gardens and along streets. How fast does Agonis flexuosa grow? It grows fast and requires enough space if it's to be grown in yards.

Dwarf Pink Agonis Flexuosa 'Nana' Cultivar

Dwarf Pink Agonis Flexuosa 'Nana' Cultivar

The trees also have a spiral or twist effect on the stems or trunks. They flower from August to December. Some Agonis flexuosa species can be pruned and if grown in terraced or rocky terrains, the trees develop buttress roots.

Agonis flexuosa Uses

A. flexuosa leaves have antiseptic properties and can be grown as ornamental trees in spacious gardens or yards.

Other Flexuosa Species

  • Deschampsia flexuosa (bunchgrass)
  • Vitis flexuosa (liana, a plant in the grape family)
  • Erysiphe flexuosa (a pathogen of plants)
  • Scutellastra flexuosa (sea snail)
  • Grevillea flexuosa (a shrub)
  • Nana flexuosa
  • Xylosma flexuosa (a willow family flowering plant)

Got Enough Space in Your Yard or Garden to Grow a Flexuosa Tree?

Whether you want to grow Agonis flexuosa peppermint trees for their antiseptic properties or as ornamental trees, you can grow them at home in your yard or garden. Just make sure there's enough space for the tree because it tends to grow bigger as it matures.

Check out our Planters and Raised Beds to start your Agonis flexuosa seeds before transplanting them to your yard or garden.

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Cunninghamia in a Forest

Cunninghamia in a Forest

What is Cunninghamia?

Cunninghamia is a plant genus comprising of two evergreen species of coniferous trees. It belongs to the Cupressaceae family of cypress trees. The trees are native to Cambodia, northern Vietnam, China and Laos. The konishii plant species is native to Taiwan. The trees can grow up to 160 feet in height.

Also known as China-fir, Cunninghamia was named after a British doctor known as Dr. James Cunningham and Allan Cunningham, a botanist. In 1702, he introduced the plant species for cultivation.

The two plant species, Cunninghamia konishii and Cunninghamia lanceolata, are commonly known as Taiwan fir and China fir, respectively. According to molecular genetic studies, the two trees belong to the same species. Cunninghamia konishii plant species results from many mainland colonization.

If combined, the two plant species would become Cunninghamia lanceolata variation konishii. C. lanceolata species was published before konishii. The plant genus was previously under the Taxodiaceae family. Some botanists consider the genus to belong to the Cunninghamiaceae family.

Cunninghamia Plant Description

Cunninghamia tree is conical-shaped with tiers of horizontal branches. The tree branches are pendulous in the direction of the tips. The stiff, softly-spined and leathery leaves are needle-like. The spiral, needle leaves are blue-green in color and feature an upward arch.

The leaves grow up to 7cm in length and 5mm wide with a broad base. Beneath the leaves is a stomatal band  ranging in color from white to greenish-white. The band sometimes appear on the upper side of the leaves. Cunninghamia tree foliage turns bronze in cold winter.

Cunninghamia lanceolata

Cunninghamia lanceolata

Tree pollination occurs in late winter. The trees feature small, unnoticeable cones in 30 clusters of 10 to 30 pollen cones. The female cones often appear in groups of 2 to 3 or singly.

Cunninghamia seeds mature in 7 to 8 months. The leaves grow up to 4.5cm long and ranges in shape from globose to ovoid. A single scale produces up to 5 seeds. The cones are proliferous, grow vegetation on their tips, on cultivated trees. The trait is used in plantation of forests.

The genus trees can grow in trunks with multiple forms. Mature trees have brown bark color and can easily peel off in strips to unearth the inner bark in a reddish-brown hue. However, ancient tree specimens tend to appear ragged, and needle-like leaves cling to tree stems for about 5 years.

Cunninghamia tree is often mistaken for the Torreya taxifolia; the difference lies in the fact that the former has many trunks and bronze leaves in autumn. The leaves fall during the season, piling beneath the tree.

Furthermore, Cunninghamia leaves are odorless whereas that of the latter tree resembles the smell of tomatoes. Torreya taxifolia, a rare tree, is also referred to as 'stinking cedar' or 'Florida's gopher wood'.

Uses of Cunninghamia

Cunninghamia is grown for timber in China. Just like Sugi and Coast Redwood, it has a nice scent. Cunninghamia timber is used in constructing temples and making coffins, among other valuable furniture and structures. It's also grown in large gardens and parks as ornamental trees.

Cunninghamia (Blue Chinese Fir Tree)

Cunninghamia (Blue Chinese Fir Tree)

You can also grow cunninghamia in your garden as an ornamental tree to beautify your landscape and home at large.

If you need pots or large grow bags to propagate your trees, check out our Fabric Planter Grow Bags for the right number you need.

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