Characteristics of Lada-Lada Tree (Osteomeles subrotunda) in the Wild

Osteomeles subrotunda
Lada-Lada (Osteomeles subrotunda) is a shrub or small tree native to the Ryukyus Islands. This tree was first introduced to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris from Japan, and from there to Kew in 1894.

Botanically, this species is closely related to Osteomeles anthyllidifolia, the difference being the slower growth of Osteomeles subrotunda and smaller leaves.

Lada-Lada tree is also often written with its synonym Osteomeles schweriniae var. microphylla. However, the name Osteomeles subrotunda was adopted by Kew in the 1930s.

This tree is perfect for bonsai because of its small, shiny leaves.

 

Characteristics of Lada-Lada Leaf

Osteomeles subrotunda Leaf
Source: flickr.com/calando

The leaves are obovate or oblong, 2-4 cm long, and consist of 4-8 pairs of leaflets. The petiole is hairy and curved on top. The leaf blade has a broad and round apex, the lower surface is smooth and hairy, while the upper surface is smooth and shiny.

 

Characteristics of Lada-Lada Flower

Osteomeles subrotunda Flower
Source: flickr.com/calando

Flowers are white, between 1-1.3 cm in diameter, and are borne in axillary leafy corymbs. The flowers are similar to Murraya paniculata.

 

Characteristics of Lada-Lada Fruit

Osteomeles subrotunda Fruit
Source: inaturalist.org/maxnuraliev

The fruit is round, small, green when young and red when ripe.

 

Characteristics of Lada-Lada Tree

Osteomeles subrotunda Tree
Source: flickr.com/Bahamut Chao

The Lada-Lada tree grows to form a dense evergreen shrub 1-2 meters high. The branches are grayish brown, terete, slender, and villous grayish-white when young.

The original habitat of this tree is mixed forest, shrubs at the top of the mountain, or hiking trails at an altitude of 200-500 m above sea level. The tree is not very strong in the open.

There are two varieties recorded, namely:

  • Osteomeles subrotunda var. subrotunda – Leaves petiole hairy, leaflets measuring 4-6 × 2-3 mm, and apex obtuse or mucronulate.
  • Osteomeles subrotunda var. glabrata – Leaves petiole glabrous or subglabrous, leaflets 3-4 × 1.5 mm, apex obtuse, and apiculate.

HOW TO CULTIVATE LADA-LADA TREE

Lada-Lada trees can be cultivated by cuttings.

 

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