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Hovenia dulcis

Chinese raisin tree

H. dulcis forms an upright, then spreading, tree with glossy, dark green, heart-shaped leaves, 10-20cm long, and downy beneath. Sprays of tiny, cream, fragrant flowers appear in summer and, as they fade, the flower stems swell, turning red, sweet and edible. They later produce small, black fruit

Other common names
Japanese raisin tree
raisin tree
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Size
Ultimate height
8–12 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
Wider than 8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Cream Green
Autumn Green Black
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Rhamnaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Hovenia are deciduous trees with alternate, heart-shaped or oval leaves, fragrant flowers and small, spherical fruit. The flowers are small, greenish-yellow, and carried in loose, branched clusters at or near the ends of the branches

Name status

Correct

Plant range
China, Himalaya

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How to grow

Cultivation

Needs humus-rich, neutral to slightly alkaline soil, in full sun with shelter from cold wind. Best in areas with a long, hot summer to ripen the wood. Unripened wood is liable to frost damage, and produces fewer flowers

Propagation

Propagate by seed, or take greenwood cuttings in early summer, or hardwood cuttings in late autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Low Maintenance
Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Generally problem free

Diseases

Unripe shoots can be affected by coral spot

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