Oxyanthus sp. (Whipstick Tree) is a fascinating plant native to South Africa. It is a large shrub or small tree, reaching a height of 5 - 10 ft tall if grown as a shrub and 10 - 20 ft tall when grown as a tree. It has horizontal branches, resembling a large bush with a rounded canopy.
In warm climates it prefers full sun, though it will tolerate some light shade. It has a moderate water requirement, preferring regular deep soakings to keep the soil evenly moist. Each season is rewarded with fragrant, greenish-white, off-white flowers borne in dense heads of long slender corolla tubes. The blooms are showy and often bring an array of people to the garden. The flowers are followed by orange-yellow fruit.
The Whipstick Tree can be grown in pots in colder climates, however, drainage must be a priority as plants living in pots dry out more quickly. If grown in a pot, it should be placed in a sunny location and kept moist. As its water requirements are low it is a great choice for containers in drought prone areas or when water restrictions apply.
This striking evergreen can grow in USDA hardiness Zones 9-11, if provided with well-drained soil and plenty of sun. It is a hardy plant, tolerant of both heat and drought once established. Overall, it is a low-maintenance design and offers an abundance of color and structure with its unique foliage all year round.