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Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

Posted by dave_in_nova VA zone 7a (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 9, 13 at 14:43

I have this evergreen plant that I believe is some type of shrub, likely not a tree. Not sure the genus or species though. I may have to wait until it blooms.

Anyway, leaves are very glossy, alternate. Distal 1/2 of leaf margins have subtle serrations on some of the leaves. So it's definitely not Ternstroemia.

New growth is a nice red. I think leaf thickness is too thick for Photinia unless maybe it's a bizarre hybrid.

This is growing in the ground in zone 7A, Northern Virginia.

I'll post a few more pics.


Follow-Up Postings:

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closeup

You can see the subtle leaf margin serrations.

Ilex?
Cleyera?


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Closeup 2

another closeup


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

Possibly Photinia Fraseri?

Here is a link that might be useful: Photinia × fraseri


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 9, 13 at 17:24

I have a couple of Ternstromias that are eight feet tall. I just went out and looked closely. No serrations. Other than that, mine look identical to yours. Mine are blooming though, with no new growth now.
Mike


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

Sequoiadendron4: I don't think it's Photinia, because the veins are not as prominant, leaves not as serrated, tips are more rounded, and leaves are smaller. I have Fraser Photinia as well. Believe me, I've compared them. I could be wrong though.

Botann: I agree they look 'like' ternstroemia. How about Cleyer japonica? I don't know if they have subtle serrations.

Or it could possibly even be a rare holly (I. integra?, I. rotunda?), I suppose.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 11:22

New growth is like that of some species of Osmanthus, as is branching habit.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

bboy,

Thanks for taking a stab at it!

Osmanthus has opposite leaf arrangement; this one is alternate, so def. not an osmanthus.

Also this is a seedling, only about 2.5 years old. Most osmanthus hardy in our region are incredibly spiny in their juvenile form.

This post was edited by dave_in_nova on Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 13:13


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

Mountain laurel?

Here is a link that might be useful: Native mountain laurel

This post was edited by river_city on Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 17:06


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

river city: I don't think Mt. Laurel has serrated margins. Also, its leaves tend to be more clustered toward the ends of the branches and Mt. Laurel also has pointed leaf tips.

Perhaps Ilex integra? But I don't know if I. integra has reddish new growth.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 19:59

Just now I was wondering about Ilex integra also.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

What about one of the other Photinia species?


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

bboy: Photos I've seen online of I. integra really nail the leaf shape and substance. I just don't know if I. integra has reddish new growth. Some hollies do, like I. x koehneana. This 'could' be a hybrid of integra and whatever else pollinated it.

rhizo: I did look at photos of Photinia glabra. New leaves seem too pointed and veins too prominant. But I'm only going by what I saw online.

I'm almost leaning toward Ilex integra or a hybrid thereof at this point. Well, we'll know better if and when it flowers.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

The new growth looks like the new growth on my Camelias.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

Just curious, what was the origin of the plant - do you think it's native, or possibly from a previous owner?


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

river_city:

I doubt very much it is a US native plant. It was likely 'planted' (dropped) by a bird feeding on ornamental plant seeds or berries.

It was a very small volunteer seedling (maybe 3 inches tall) I pulled up in a public park in DC in the month of February I think. The fact that it was still evergreen and so incredibly glossy caught my eye. There were large non-native hollies growing nearby. But also photinias not too far away. Of course, birds can make up for the distances. However photinias growing in my yard have leaves with spines or serrations that run the entire margin of the leaf. The spines of this mystery plant only run about 2/3 to 1/2 the margin.

Dzitmoidonc: It does sort of look like camellia, but none of my camellias have 'spines' on the leaves. The leaf margins of camellias are more subtly scalloped. I have probably over a dozen camellias in my yard and I am getting volunteers of those coming up under the larger plants.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

Ok, for some reason I want to know the answer as well.

Is it Japanese Andromeda (Pieris japonica)? New growth is red on this, and it has partial serrations.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture

This post was edited by river_city on Sat, Oct 12, 13 at 13:38


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

River_city: It's driving me crazy too. Thank for you suggestion and interest.

OK, so I have Pieris 'Mountain Fire' in my yard and its leaves have what I would call scalloped (crenate) margins - much like camellia. Not what I would call spined or 'entire'. Also Pieris seems to have narrower leaves and more arranged in 'whorls' near the ends of branches.

I took a very close look at my Photinia and noticed that in Photinia, the newer leaves have prominent stipules -- those almost spiny-looking things that are present at the base of each new leaf petiole. 'Mystery plant' has no evident stipules -- either persistant or on new growth.

I guess the next thing to do is a 'taste test'. LOL! Sometimes leaf odor (when crushed) or taste is very diagnostic. For example, there's no mistaking the odor of crushed Chindo viburnum leaves. No wonder my deer don't like them.

Edit: Ok, just did 'taste test' of Pieris. Very strong sour apple taste!
Holly: No taste at all, so likely it's not a holly.
Camellia: not much at all so likely not a camellia.
Photinia: Not much taste at all; no bitterness.

Mystery plant - weak taste, but some some bitterness present. No other flavors. Definitely not illicium.

This post was edited by dave_in_nova on Sat, Oct 12, 13 at 14:03


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 12, 13 at 14:08

Pieris is so poisonous it supposedly makes mountain streams on Yaku Jima undrinkable.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

More possibilities, despite the holly taste test:

Ilex coriacea (gallberry holly)
Ilex glabra

Here is a link that might be useful: Ilex glabra red new growth


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

That's an amusing anecdote Bboy, though it seems like "old samurai's tale" to me. But mountains streams anywhere may be undrinkable for various other reasons.

There are so many variation of holly leaves, this surely could be one. Sometimes even on the same plants - some varieties like 'James G. Esson' have a pleiomorphic alteration between forms. During dry spells it throws out spinier leaves, and smoother ones in wet periods.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

river city: I think I. glabra has much smaller leaves and no spines at all. It could possibly be a hybrid with coriacea in it. I'm sort of leaning toward an Ilex integra or rotunda hybrid at this point, maybe even an I. altaclerensis hybrid. But who knows?

davidrt28, it could possibly have some I. altaclerensis in it. There are some of those growing not far away.

Edit: But most x altacerensis I see have leaves with a tip spine. Mystery plant has no leaf-tip spine.

This post was edited by dave_in_nova on Sat, Oct 19, 13 at 19:44


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

It's Cleyera.
Definitely.
Young, it looks like mine. I will try to get a pic tomorrow.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

out of curiosity ....

why dont you try the NAME THAT PLANT FORUM ...

and see how many replies it takes ... lol

ken


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

Well Ken, I tried that with a different plant and no one could ID it. My guess is there are some of the same people on there as here. Also, this forum is a bit more specialized.

I can try it though.


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Cleyera

Thanks butterfly4u:

When you say 'cleyera' are you talking about the genus Ternstroemia? Or the genus Cleyera? Because the names are very muddled in the marketplace. The so-called Japanese Cleyera (commercial name) is Ternstroemia gymnanthera. I have that in my garden and they have completely spineless leaves.

My mystery plant as spines, albeit subtle.

As for the genus Cleyera, (for example Cleyera japonica) I am not familiar enough with them to know if they have spines at all. That is why I'm leaning toward a holly at this point.

But, if you can post a photo of a closeup of a cleyera leaf that has small spines, I'm willing to believe you.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

Dave,
They aren't big spines, but I am pretty sure that is a camellia. I had one that had red new growth, the "spines" you mention are typical of camellia japonica.
Check out online.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

My camellias (I have over a dozen)) have new growth twigs that fairly quickly turn to gray.

This mystery plant has 1st season growth that stays green for quite a while (like a season), then becomes streaked and finally gray. Very similar to a holly.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

I think the chance of a Cleyera or Ternstroemia self-seeding in DC...versus a holly...are extremely remote. For one thing, though they may be in specialist's gardens, they have to be at least a couple orders of magnitude less common. So, for every 100 or 1000 hollies, I'd only expect one or two of those.
The stems sure look like a holly to me, and the vast majority of the larger Eurasian holly species seem to have colored new growth.


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RE: Can anyone identify this broadleafed evergreen?

There are Ternstroemia around here. They even seed (I have two in my yard).

But i don't think this is Terstroemia.

I'm tempted to think it's a holly as well. It was growing not too far from Ilex integra and Ilex rotunda (Korean cultivar -- and super hardy).


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