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An evergreen tree up to 60 ft high; young shoots downy, ribbed. Leaves alternate, of hard leathery texture like those of a holly, ovate or oblong, pointed, 11⁄2 to 31⁄2 in. long, 3⁄4 to 2 in. wide, entire on the flowering shoots of adult trees, spiny, much larger, and more rounded at the base on young ones, glabrous and dark glossy green; stalk 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in. long, downy. Flowers fragrant, 3⁄8 in. wide, yellowish white and densely crowded in a cluster of panicles, each 1 to 2 in. long and produced in the terminal leaf-axils and at the end of the shoot in June. The individual flower, which has its various parts in fives, is almost stalkless, but the main and secondary flower-stalks are clothed with brown down. Fruit an egg-shaped drupe 2⁄3 in. long, containing one fleshy seed surrounded by a hard shell. Bot. Mag., t. 8376.
A native of central Chile, rare in the wild. It was introduced by the Hon. W. Fox-Strangways about 1840 to the garden at Abbotsbury in Dorset, where there is still a tree of this species. The only other sizeable example in the open air grows in the National Botanic Garden at Glasnevin, Eire. It measures 25 × 2 ft (1974).