Labiérnago (Phillyrea angustifolia)

Today we come to talk about a type of shrub that is perfect for warm areas. If the place where you live has generally high temperatures, do not doubt that the Labiatae is a good option for your garden. Its scientific name is Phillyrea angustifolia and if your care is correct, you can have beautiful hedges in your garden that provide a good decoration.

In this article we will discuss all the care you need to grow and stay healthy while describing its main characteristics. Do you want to know more about the labiérnago? Keep reading

Main features

When we live in warmer areas it is important to adapt the plants to the climate so as not to have to overprotect them. In this way we will not have to modify the irrigation patterns, fertilizer, locations, etc. If the plant tolerates hot environments, we can rest easy giving it the basic care it needs.

For this type of situation, the labiérnago is a great shrub that will give us good properties without having too much care to attend to. It is a species native to the Mediterranean and, therefore, it has the ability to adapt to warm environments. We can find it in the Western Mediterranean area. Being shrubs capable of reaching heights of between two and five meters, we can find them in our country mixed with holm oaks, cork oaks and kermes oak.

Among their common names we find ladierna, lentisquilla, olivillo and labiérnigo. It is a quite branched shrub that makes it have a quite beautiful shape. The leaves are of the lanceolate type, quite simple, perennial and their color is dark green. They are about 5 centimeters long. The flowers it has are white and are made up of four sepals and four other petals. Regarding the fruit, it can be said that it is a fleshy drupe with an aspect similar to that of olives. Hence comes its common name of olivillo.

Its consistency is woody. As we have mentioned before, it is very good at tolerating the higher temperatures typical of the Mediterranean climate. However, it is not good at tolerating strong cold. For this reason, its area of ​​distribution is reduced to places with medium and low altitudes, since it cannot withstand the cold as the altitude increases.

Detailed description

When this shrub is used in gardens, what is sought is to increase the ornamental level of the area. It is known that this type of shrub does not need much care and, therefore, it is a good option to place in parks and gardens. Although it is not very strict with the needs, it is true that it needs some care like all plants.

Moving on to its more detailed description, we can say that the leaves have a leathery appearance and that they are distributed in an opposite way among the large branches that it has. On the upper side of the leaf we can see a dark green color, while on the underside it becomes lighter. The edges of the sheets are serrated.

The flowers can be both white and yellowish in color and give off a characteristic aroma. It is not a very intoxicating scent, but it can make you recognize the bush just by smelling the flowers. It also has another characteristic and that is that the flowers come together to form axillary inflorescences. It is as if they form a kind of cluster. Thanks to their high content of put, they are able to attract bees. Therefore, this plant is widely used in the world of beekeeping.

Among the main uses that we find of the labiérnago we have as ornamentation in parks and gardens, as a medicinal use using astringent and for beekeeping attracting bees. The fruits serve to help in cases of ulcers in the oral cavity since it helps to dry the tissues and that they improve little by little.

Necessary requirements of the labiérnago

It is a fairly drought resistant plant. Even if it does not rain or water for a long time, it is able to endure healthy. When it comes to locating it, it needs to be in full sunlight. The more hours of sunlight you have, the better. In economic terms, its wood is used as fuel for biomass boilers and since the wood has a large amount of tannins, it is used in the industry to tan leather.

For soils that are poor these shrubs are ideal. At the same time that we use a land that is no longer useful because it is poor in nutrients and cannot accommodate more vegetation, we will be maintaining a shrub that requires little maintenance well. It is used to form hedges or barriers and for areas especially gardens.

It prefers full sun exposure, as mentioned before, but it can also live in semi-shade. It is not the most convenient for him, but if you do not have places in full sun in your home, he could survive well. Tolerates temperatures down to -8 degrees, but very little time. If the frosts become something more frequent and lasting it will die.

It is capable of developing well in poor soils, be they of any type, sandy, saline, calcareous and clayey. This offers great versatility when it comes to being distributed and being able to spread over different terrains.

As for irrigation, you have to wait until the land is completely dry to be able to water again. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot. It is vitally important not to water the bush when it is watered. The labiérnago does not need a special fertilizer, although they do appreciate a light contribution of compost in early spring. This time of year is chosen because it is when they bloom and they need more nutrients for it.

Maintenance and reproduction

These plants are quite fast growing. If we want to speed it up even more, we can perform a training pruning. It is quite resistant to both pests and diseases. Therefore, it is not a factor that we should worry about.

If we want to multiply it, the fastest way is from semi-woody cuttings. At the end of summer they have to be planted in moist soil so that they can develop well. It can also reproduce from seeds, although it is a slower process.

I hope that with these tips you can enjoy your labiérnago in good conditions.

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