Escallonia bifida (E. montevidensis). ESCALLONIA. South America
E. × exoniensis
E. rosea
ESCALLONIACEAE (Escallonia family)

Small trees available in numerous varieties and hybrids, found in older campus homes but inconspicuous around the inner campus. But, if you notice the aroma of a curry being cooked and you prowl upwind, you will find an Escallonia. The leaves are dotted with glands and may be sticky to the touch. A large bank of E. montevidensis, with sticky dark green leaves and reddish stems, is on the north side of the Cogen facility, visible from Campus Drive West. There is a major planting on Lomita opposite Herrin Labs, growing with Euonymous japonica.

In recent years, the shrubby, pinkish-flowered E. × exoniensis, name given to hybrids between E. rubra and E. rosea, have become the escallonia of choice and are now widely planted, including in the Inner Quad circles. Chihuahuan sage (Leucophyllum laevigatum) with 1-inch rose-colored flowers, which is grown as a sheared hedge guarding the bicycle racks at the David Packard Building, has a similarly attractive aroma of curry released by clipping. While the prunings are lying on the ground passers-by have the impression that the mouth-watering scent is being wafted from a South Indian bazaar hidden somewhere near the Packard cafeteria.

The robust Escallonia planted at Raines Houses is E. rosea, according to the landscape plan, though related material is sometimes substituted.

Illus.: E. bifida, branchlet and inflorescence June 15, 2005.

Illustrations: leaf detail of E. bifida | gallery


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