Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Broadleaf evergreen shrub to 1-3 m (~3-10 ft) tall; can be grown as a tree to 9 m (30 ft). Leaves are alternate, green, willow-like ( narrow and long), obovate to lanceolate, 4-7 cm long and 1-1.5 cm wide, leathery, margins are entire and wavy or crinkled, the apex pointed or rounded. The flowers, which are inconspicuous and lack petals, are yellow to orange-red and in 2.5 cm long clusters. Generally a given plant only bears male or female flowers, but occasionally both sexes are produced. The fruit is a capsule 1.5 cm wide with two to four papery wings which are red, pink or green and ripening to brown. Seeds are roundish, black and very small.
- Sun or light shade, tolerant to arid situations but takes regular watering, not particular about soil, tolerates ocean winds and desert heat.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 8 It is considered native throughout the southwest US and northern Mexico but varieties and subspecies are found throughout the tropics and sub-tropics including Hawaii, New Zealand and all of Australian states and territories, where it grows in a wide range of habitats (San Marcos Growers).
- A few selections area available; ’Purperea’ is a purple-leafed selection.
- viscosa: sticky, a reference to the sticky resin produced by new leaves