Geijera is a genus in the Rutaceae family with approximately 8 species of shrubs and small trees native to Australia, New Guinea and New Caledonia. The one most known to horticulture is Geijera parviflora, better known as the Wilga, or Australian willow. This beautiful tree is becoming more popular around the world, most especially in gardens where Xeriscaping is a factor.

 Wilga is an attractive evergreen, 30 to 35 feet tall and 20 feet wide, with an upright, oval silhouette. It has elegant, leathery foliage that is extremely dark green when grown in some shade. The flowers are white and strongly-scented, similar to citrus, to which Wilga is related. The main inner branches are composed of strong, wind-resistant wood and are directed upward, while the outer smaller branches are pendulous. This gives the tree a weeping habit which becomes increasingly more pronounced with age. Younger trees are more oval-shaped. This characteristic, combined with the thin, narrow, drooping leaves, produces a weeping willow effect, with the added bonus of short panicles of showy, sweet flowers which appear in early spring and early fall, which makes Wilga more appealing than a willow.

Wilga is a tree that is highly sought after by many urban horticulturists because of its extremely ornamental character, tolerance to a wide range of soil and climate types, and its diminutive size. It is highly tolerant of soils where irrigation is limited, and will grow well on any well-drained soil, including alkaline ones. It grows well in full sun but will also thrive in some shade, where the foliage becomes a very rich, dark green.

Wilgas can take some cold but not much. They are better adapted to the American South and the warmer areas of the UK. Of course they’re quite adaptable to Australia and New Zealand.



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