This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, olive-fruit). Elaeocarpaceae; formerly included in Tiliaceae. Tropical trees, with showy flowers, in their juvenile stages also sometimes cultivated under glass.
Leaves simple, usually alternate; to 50 and 60 ft. high or some of them practically shrubs in cultivation: flowers perfect or polygamous, in axillary racemes; sepals distinct, 4 or 5; petals 4 or 5, cut or fringed (rarely entire), attached about a thickened torus; stamens many (rarely 8-12), with long-awned anthers opening by a slit at the apex; ovary 2-5-celled: fruit a drupe, with a large and bony stone, sometimes 1-celled by abortion. - Perhaps 100 species, in the Old World tropics. They are little known in cult, but are sometimes mentioned in greenhouse lists. The pulp of the fruit in some species is said to be edible; and the interesting sculptured stones of some kinds (as of the bead-tree of India, E. Ganitrus, Roxbg.) are used for beads, heads of ornamented pins, and other decorations. They propagate by ripened shoots with the leaves left on, and also by seeds when obtainable.
J. Smith. A much-branched shrub, about 7 ft. high under glass: leaves considerably clustered at the ends of branches, 3-6 in. long, broadly lanceolate; petiole 1/4-1 in. long, with a few distant saw-teeth, or more or less round-toothed-or wavy-margined: sepals 5, red outside, white inside; petals 5, white or pale yellow, silky outside, fringed. Java. B.M. 4680 (as Monocera grandiflora). F.S. 8:817. J.F. 4:339. - Leaves rather leathery, dark green above, paler beneath. Warmhouse. Prop, by cuttings of nearly ripened wood.
Sims (E. reticulatus, Smith). Under glass a shrub, but in the wild a small tree and sometimes reaching 60 ft., glabrous: leaves elliptic-oblong, or lance-oblong, acuminate, prominently reticulate: flowers cream-white, fringed, in loose racemes that are shorter than the leaves; stamens many: drupe globular or nearly so, blue (whence the specific name). Austral. B.M. 1737. B.R. 657. G.C. III. 36:272; 51:393. G.M. 55:423. G. 34:389. Gn. 77, p. 301. L. H. B.†