Thursday, 5 March 2015

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 105 - MURRAYA

Murraya paniculata, or "orange jessamine" is a tropical, evergreen plant bearing small, white, highly scented flowers, which is grown as an ornamental tree or hedge. Murraya is closely related to Citrus, and bears small orange to red fruit resembling kumquats, though some cultivars do not set fruit. It belongs to the citrus family, Rutaceae. M. paniculata is a native of South and Southeast Asia, China and Australasia. It is naturalised in southern USA.

Orange jessamine is a small, tropical, evergreen tree or shrub growing up to 7 m tall. The plant flowers throughout the year. Its leaves are glabrous and glossy, occurring in 3-7 oddly pinnate leaflets which are elliptic to cuneate-obovate to rhombic. Flowers are terminal, corymbose, few-flowered, dense and fragrant. Petals are 12–18 mm long, recurved and white (or fading cream). The fruit of Murraya paniculata is fleshy, oblong-ovoid, coloured red to orange, and grows up to 2.5 cm in length.

Traditionally, Murraya paniculata is used both in traditional medicine as an analgesic and for wood (for tool handles). In the West, Murraya paniculata is cultured as an ornamental tree or hedge because of its hardiness, wide range of soil tolerance (it can grow in alkaline, clayey, sandy, acidic and loamy soils), and is suitable for larger hedges. The plant flowers throughout the year and produces small, fragrant flower clusters which attract bees, while the fruits attract small frugivorous birds. Honey bee farms have been known to plant this tree serving not only as food for the bees but as protection from harsh winds. Honey collected from bee hive colonies that collect pollen from orange jessamines, have a tangy sweet orange undertone.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.






4 comments:

  1. It looks fantastic because a] the tree is huge (growing up to 7 m tall) and b) the beautiful flowers display throughout the year. That is exactly what we need in our front garden.

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  2. These are awesome little blossoms! Thanks for all the info, too.

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