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A tree up to 100 ft high in its native forests, though usually not taller than about 40 ft; young shoots and flower-stalks furnished with brown down. Leaves opposite, pinnate, 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, composed of nine to nineteen leaflets set 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. apart, the space between each pair filled on each side of the main-stalk with a triangular wing. Leaflets stalkless, oval or obovate, 3⁄8 to 3⁄4 in. long, with two to six conspicuous teeth on each side, dark lustrous green and glabrous except for a few bristles at the base of each pair of leaves. Flowers fragrant, quite small, white, packed closely on a cylindrical mignonettelike raceme 11⁄2 to 2 in. long, opening in May, the stamens with their pink-tipped anthers being the most conspicuous feature. Fruit a dry, two-celled capsule, 1⁄8 in. long, red when young.
Native of the Chilean Andes in the region of Nothofagus forests, from about 35° to 45° S. This is one of the handsomest evergreens brought from Chile. Its leaves, rather fern-like in character, are distinct among evergreen species in the conspicuously winged rachis, and the white flowers, freely produced on cultivated plants, are followed by bronzy immature capsules, which in the Chilean forests give an autumnal tinge to the slopes when it occurs in large stands. It is not quite hardy near London, though it can be grown on a wall there. At Wakehurst Place in Sussex an example about 12 ft high has lived in the open for many years and flowers freely. At Tregothnan in Cornwall there is a tree measuring 59 × 33⁄4 ft (1971).