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Operculicarya decaryi, Jabily, Elephant Tree

Operculicarya decaryi

Jabily, Elephant Tree
Family: Anacardiaceae
Origin: Southwestern Madagascar
USDA Zone: 9-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapPlant with caudexPlant used for bonsaiLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall tree 10-20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunDry conditionsRed, crimson, vinous flowersOrnamental foliageDeciduous plant

Operculicarya decaryi (Jabily) is a native of Southwestern Madagascar that can be used for bonsai. It is an evergreen, slow growing succulent with a thickened caudex, growing into a large shrub of 5-10 feet tall, or even a small tree of 10-20 feet. It has ornamental foliage, purple-red flowers in late winter, and is deciduous.

This plant requires full sun or semi-shade, with dry conditions. It is mature cold hardy at least to 30s Fahrenheit for a short time and can grow in USDA Zone 9-11.

In terms of its care, Operculicarya decaryi should be planted in well-draining soil, preferably a cactus/succulent potting mix or a light potting soil. This plant should be watered occasionally, only when the soil is completely dry. The pot should be placed in an area that gets plenty of sunlight for growth.

In regions where temperatures drop in the coldest months, the plant should be moved to a warmer spot during winter, which will help it avoid damage from frost. At the same time, since the roots are sensitive to water-logging, it should never be left in standing water, which can lead to root rot. In cold regions, the best way to grow this plant is in a pot, and the pot should be placed in a sheltered area that is exposed to both sun and indirect light.

In conclusion, Operculicarya decaryi is a fascinating bonsai plant that has a great deal of ornamental value. It can withstand a variety of conditions and is great for those wishing to grow a low-maintenance succulent in their homes or gardens.

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