Oreopanax capitatus

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Small tropical evergreen tree from Mexico, Central America and the West Indies. The name Oreopanax comes from the Greek oreos = mountain, high ground and panax, another genus of this family. Capitatus comes from the Latin capitatus-a-um = that grows in small heads, referring to its flowers.

It is very rare on the Peninsula, only being able to find it in very specific regions where the climate is almost subtropical, like Cadiz and places of the province of Malaga and Granada, where it is always cultivated.

It reaches up to 10 metres in height, has a greyish, smooth bark and extended branches. Its leaves are simple, ovate to elliptic, acuminate, with a cuneate or rounded base. They measure 12-22 cm in length and 7-11 cm in width. Petiole is 10-15 cm in length. Sessile flowers which can be white or greenish, and are gathered in small heads that are grouped in terminal paniculate inflorescences. On the same tree there may be male, female and hermaphrodite flowers. Balloon-shaped fruit measuring about 4 mm in diameter.

It is multiplied by seeds, although often they do not germinate well, and by cuttings of hard wood with background warmth. You need lime-free and well-drained soils. In the summer it requires a lot of watering.

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