Growing at the back of the Dry Garden, Azara microphylla is full of clusters of tiny yellow flowers.
The shrubby genus Azara was named in honour of the Spanish scientist J Azara, 1731-1804. It is a small genus of South American species belonging to the willow family (Salicaceae). All require either a warm, sheltered position, or glasshouse protection in the United Kingdom. This species is a Chilean native, and has small, glossy leaves, hence the specific name microphylla: micro – small, and phylla – leaves. The petal-less flowers are borne in clusters on the underside of the leaf axil, and are chocolate-scented. Azara microphylla was introduced to our gardens in 1861 by Richard Pearce, who collected it one of his expeditions to South America for the Veitch nursery.