Rutaceae (rue family) Geijera

Geijera parviflora wilga, Australian willow

Eastern and southeastern Australia
Geijera parviflora behind Castaño. Sairus Patel, 9 Jul 2023
Geijera parviflora. From Trees of Stanford and Environs, Ronald Bracewell

Wilga is a small shade tree growing to about 20 feet with very attractive weeping foliage. Although the leaves may be up to 6 inches long they are no more than ¼ inch wide. The small whitish flowers are not very conspicuous, and are sweet-scented but with a subtle unpleasant undertone. Wilga grows in dry areas of all Australian states, where the sheep enjoy nibbling the leaves while squatting on their haunches. Introduced to the Bay Area by the Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation, it is a good low-maintenance tree for the campus; it is happy with much less rain than falls here.

In 2023 a row of about a dozen was planted on the Campus Drive side of Castaño. One remains of a trio at 940 Cottrell Way and other specimens may be seen in residential gardens on the slopes of Pine Hill. It is used as a street tree in downtown Palo Alto, including the section of Waverley Street between University and Lytton Avenues, on Hamilton Avenue from Waverley to Gilman Street, and on High Street near Hamilton. The specimens at 2335 Birch Street in Palo Alto are particularly long-flowering, starting in early spring and continuing for months.

Illustrations: flower | branchlet.

Name derivation: Geijera – J.D. Geijer (1687); parviflora – small flowers.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. Castaño and Birch locations added, flower scent described, edits; all locations up to date (Jul 2023, SP).