The Q&A Archives: Australian Bush Cherry

Question: Is Australian bush cherry a fruiting or flowering cherry? If fruiting, does it need a pollinator?

Answer: Australian Brush Cherry is also commonly called Eugenia, and nurseries usually use this name. It was used for large privacy hedges in Southern California landscapes for years. The eugenia psyllid appeared in the 1980s and the damage from this insect was so severe, it killed many plants and deformed those it didn't kill. The plant is little used these days, but the insect can be brought under some control. Fortunately, there are several dwarf forms that are less susceptible to the psyllid. These grow much more slowly and should be considered for Southern California and Central Coast landscapes.

Hardiness: USDA Zones 9b and 10; damaged below 25 degrees.
Rapid growth to 30 feet or more with an 8 foot spread.
Leaves are one inch ovals; new leaves are bronzy. Flowers in clusters of cream-white blossoms in the summer. Self-fruitful. Purple-red fruit is edible but not very tasty.

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