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Elephant Tree

Operculicarya decaryi

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Elephant Tree (Operculicarya decaryi) at Platt Hill Nursery

Elephant Tree foliage

Elephant Tree foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Elephant Tree (Operculicarya decaryi) at Platt Hill Nursery

Elephant Tree bark

Elephant Tree bark

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  20 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  9a

Other Names:  Jabily

Description:

An attractive small tree with fine green succulent foliage that takes on reddish hues in cooler weather; stunning trunk and branches with thick, twisted, mottled bark in gray and reddish-brown tones; great for containers and bonsai cultivation

Ornamental Features

Elephant Tree has attractive dark green foliage which emerges red in spring. The small succulent round pinnately compound leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. The mottled gray bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

Elephant Tree is an evergreen plant with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Elephant Tree is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Elephant Tree will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings.

Elephant Tree is a fine choice for the yard, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, this plant may be too tender to survive the winter if left outdoors in a container. Contact our store for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Garden  Container 
Applications
Foliage Color  Texture  Bark 
Ornamental Features

This Plant Finder tool is an online catalog representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact your nearest Platt Hill Nursery store for current availability. It does not include our entire inventory of plants, so be sure to visit us to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.



Bloomingdale: 222 W Lake St, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Carpentersville: 2400 Randall Rd, Carpentersville, IL 60110

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