A deciduous small tree or shrub, usually multistemmed, with an rounded crown. It has tangled branches which arch downwards or droop - this gives it its common name. The flowers grow in dense clusters on the branches. They are pale mauve, blue or white, with male and female flowers on different plants. They are sweetly scented. The fruits are round, orange to red, turning black when ripe. Fruits are edible. For traditional, medicinal purposes, the roots are powdered and used to treat small cuts in the skin. The plant is believed to bring luck to hunters and is also used to protect huts and crops from hail.
The Puzzle Bush is becoming very popular as a garden plant because it is hardy and drought resistant. It can easily grow from seed and cuttings. Do not sow the seeds too deeply. If they are sown properly, the seeds will take 10-20 days to germinate.
Ehretia rigida is very attractive to birds and insects and is therefore a wonderful addition to the wildlife garden.