Euclea crispa

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,[2] or grow to tree size. It is widespread and common in the interior regions of southern Africa,[3] and occurs northward to the tropics. Though some are present near the South African south and east coasts,[4] they generally occur at middle to high altitudes.[5] It is readily recognizable from its much-branched structure and dull bluish foliage colour. Those bearing lanceolate leaves may however resemble the Wild olive,[3] another common species of the interior plateaus.

Species of tree

Blue guarri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ebenaceae
Genus: Euclea
Species:
E. crispa
Binomial name
Euclea crispa

Synonyms
  • Euclea lanceolataE.Mey. ex A.DC[1]

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It is native to central South Africa (where one of 35 native ebony species),[6]Lesotho, Swaziland, the Zimbabwean plateau and Eastern Highlands,[3]Angola, Zambia, Malawi[2] and uplands of tropical Africa.[4]

It is found in open or thick bush along stream banks,[7] woodland, kloofs, hillsides, open forest, along forest margins and regularly in sheltered rocky places.[3][5] It is rare in the lowveld where it is limited to rocky areas, or areas of higher rainfall.[8]

It is a rounded, dense and bushy shrub or tree,[7] reaching a height of 2 to 6 metres[7] (rarely 8 to 20 metres),[2][3][4] with a spreading, often symmetrical crown. It is slow-growing like its congeners, and becomes frost and drought resistant with age.[6] In Zimbabwe it is a shrub of 1 to 2 m tall,[2] forming small, dense colonies, or a small tree.[5]

The bole is single or multi-stemmed and up to 30 cm in diameter.[3] The wood is dark brown, hard and close-grained.[4] The bark varies from grey[7] to brown or blackish,[3] and is smooth in young trees, but rougher in older trees.[2]

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