Euclea crispa,[note 1] commonly known as the blue guarri,[note 2] is an Afrotropical plant species of the family Ebenaceae. The hardy and evergreen plants may form a dense stand of shrubs, or grow to tree size. It is widespread and common in the interior regions of southern Africa, and occurs northward to the tropics. Though some are present near the South African south and east coasts, they generally occur at middle to high altitudes. It is readily recognizable from its much-branched structure and dull bluish foliage colour. Those bearing lanceolate leaves may however resemble the Wild olive, another common species of the interior plateaus.
It is native to central South Africa (where one of 35 native ebony species),Lesotho, Swaziland, the Zimbabwean plateau and Eastern Highlands,Angola, Zambia, Malawi and uplands of tropical Africa.
It is found in open or thick bush along stream banks, woodland, kloofs, hillsides, open forest, along forest margins and regularly in sheltered rocky places. It is rare in the lowveld where it is limited to rocky areas, or areas of higher rainfall.
It is a rounded, dense and bushy shrub or tree, reaching a height of 2 to 6 metres (rarely 8 to 20 metres), with a spreading, often symmetrical crown. It is slow-growing like its congeners, and becomes frost and drought resistant with age. In Zimbabwe it is a shrub of 1 to 2 m tall, forming small, dense colonies, or a small tree.
The bole is single or multi-stemmed and up to 30 cm in diameter. The wood is dark brown, hard and close-grained. The bark varies from grey to brown or blackish, and is smooth in young trees, but rougher in older trees.