Ternstroemia gymnanthera
Common name: 
Japanese Ternstroemia
Japanese Cleyera
tern-STRO-mi-a jim-NAN-ther-a
Ternstroemia japonica
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub/tree, 8-10 ft (2.5-3 m) high, 5-6 ft (1.5-1.8 m ) spread, distinctly upright oval, densely branched, can be grown as a small tree.   Leaves simple, alternate (but appear whorled at end of stems), leathery, narrow-oblong to ovate-oblong, 6-10 cm long, apex bluntly pointed, wedge shaped at base, lustrous dark green above and paler below, petiole reddish (petioles and buds together form a "red eye" at the base of a leaf cluster).   New growth is reddish, leaves may turn bronze color in winter.   Flowers perfect, white to yellowish, 12 mm diam., borne singly or 2 to 3 together, late spring.  Fruit is egg-shaped, 2.5 cm long, green to yellow, red-orange, ripens in early fall.
  • Shade or partial shade.  Prefers moist, well-drained soil, intolerant of wet sites.  Responds well to pruning.
  • Hardy USDA Zone 7      Native to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, India, Borneo.
  • Ternstroemia: after Christopher Ternstroem, Swedish naturalist and traveller in China, died 1748.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: north side of the Memorial Union, west end.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • shoot


  • leaves


  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • flowers


  • fruit, winter

    fruit, winter

  • opening fruit, winter

    opening fruit, winter

  • plant habit, winter

    plant habit, winter

  • leaves, winter

    leaves, winter

  • shoot, winter

    shoot, winter

  • petioles and bud ("red eye")

    petioles and bud ("red eye")