Azara microphylla

This unusual plant (Azara microphylla) sounds better placed in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory but I assure you it is real. The specimen can be found to the right of the main entrance to the glasshouse behind the fossil. The left of the area is currently filled with the beautifully sweet aroma of Daphne bholua

On a warm day the scent fills the air of sweet chocolate with dash of vanilla. It has flowered slightly early this year given our mild winter. The fluffy yellow flowers are clustered along the branches similar to a willow which is the family it belongs to Salicaceae.

A. microphylla is native to Chile where it can be found as an understory to Nothofagus obliqua growing in disturbed roadside vegetation in the southern part of the country at c. 700m. Developing as a tree to ten metres in height. in Edinburgh it appreciates shelter from cold wind and is often a multi branched plant