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Products > Xylosma congesta
Xylosma congesta - Shiny Xylosma
Image of Xylosma congesta
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Flacourtiaceae (now Salicaceae)
Origin: China (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow Green
Bloomtime: Fall
Synonyms: [Xylosma senticosum, X. congestum]
Height: 6-10 feet
Width: 8-12 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
Xylosma congesta (Shiny Xylosma) - This is a spreading, evergreen shrub or small tree that grows 6 to 12 feet tall or more and spreads even wider - size can be contained by pruning. The shiny light green leaves are this plant's most attractive feature, and it is evergreen in near frost-free climates with new growth an attractive bronzy-red. Small cream-colored flowers on branch tips are inconspicuous and occasionally followed by dark blackish berries.

Plant in sun or light shade. Looks best with occasional watering. Evergreen to 25 F and root hardy to 10-15 F. Useful as a hedge and make an attractive small tree.

Xylosma congesta is native to China, Japan, and Korea where it is found growing along forest margins and in thickets where older specimens have been noted to reach to 50 feet tall. The name for the genus is from the Greek words 'xylon' meaning "wood" and 'osme' meaning "fragrance" that references the scented wood of some species in the genus and the specific epithet means "arranged close together" or "crowded" referencing the tight foliage on short internodes. Another common name for this plant is "Dense Longwood".

This plant has long been a common site in southern California gardens and commercial plantings and a compact selection of it is used in the median of Highway 101 running through Santa Barbara. It suffered in popularity as it often gets bigger than intended and it is a host to giant white fly, which when attacted causes the plant to have white tread-like masses on the undersides of the leaves. We grew this plant since the beginning days of our nursery but discontinued production because of this white fly issue. As this pest seems to be better under control from natural predators we began growing it again in 2022. 

This information about Xylosma congesta displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.