Synonyms : F. pubescens glabrifolia. Adelia neo-mexicana.
Common Name : Wild Olive
Forestiera neomexicana is a upright spiny branching deciduous perennial Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in).It blooms before grayish-green foliage emerges. Leaves mature to bright green and contrast beautifully with one-year-old black bark. Small, attractive black berries appear in autumn.
It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. Flower color is yellow. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
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Succeeds in most soils. Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil. Tolerates dry sites. Flowers are produced in the axils of the previous years leaves. Plants do not fruit well in Britain, probably due to a lack of sunshine.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Easy. Cuttings of mature wood, November to February in a frame or sheltered outdoor bed.
Edible Uses: Fruit. Although only 4 – 8mm long, it has been suggested as a substitute for the true olive, Olea europaea.
Medicinal Uses: Miscellany.
Other Uses: Plants growing in the wild are used as indicators of underground water. Common uses for New Mexico Forestiera are in shrub borders, native plantings, hedges, xeriscapes and as an accent. They can be pruned into a small tree. This plant is ideal for the environment of New Mexico because it requires little water or shade to survive. It is known to be a low maintenance plant.
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