Tucked away in the back of a border is this late spring flowering evergreen. It appreciates the shady south westerly aspect corner bounded by two walls and overshadowed by a Davidia canopy. This situation may go some way to replicate conditions found in the temperate rainforests of Tasmania and S.E. Australia where it thrives.
Atherosperma moschatum has spiky holly like leaves with a pale grey reverse, more noticeable on younger leaves. From straight multi stemmed trunks a wide, open canopy forms. The wood and foliage when bruised has an aromatic smell, it has been widely used for carving and often to make clothes pegs. Well, the idea for scented drawer liners had to originate somewhere. Flowers develop slowly from late autumn, finally opening in March. These are held facing downwards at the tips of last season’s growth to protect the buds from damage by rainfall. These are covered in minute hairs; on opening the white tepals scent of nutmeg.
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