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Cleyera japonica2.jpg
Cleyera japonica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Pentaphylacaceae
Genus: Cleyera

See text.

Cleyera is a plant genus consisting of 18 species of tender, extremely evergreen shrubs to small trees, mostly native to Mexico and Central America, and one from Eastern Asia. In the APG III system it is placed in the family Pentaphylacaceae.[1]

The botanical name is derived from Andrew Cleyer, a Dutch physician of the seventeenth century. The plants are good for a specimen accent hedge or a mixed border landscape, with great unique bushes and colorful foliage, which make these plants superior to any other hedge shrubs. Though they are slow-growing, they can eventually reach 6–10 ft (1.8-3m). The plants grow densely upright with low spreading-branch habit, round-shaped form, and can be kept compact by occasionally tip-cutting. Leaves are glossy, oval-shaped, 6–10 cm long with dark-green and bronze-red to burgundy tinted young leaves. Very fragrant small creamy white to pale yellow flowers bloom in early summer with petals free or scarcely coalesced. The pollen can cause mild allergy symptoms. Fruits are spherical, greenish yellow, turning red to black.


Cleyera integrifolia
Cleyera japonica (Sakaki), syn. Cleyera ochnacea
Cleyera millettii


  1. ^ Stevens, P.F., Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, retrieved 2014-09-18