December 16
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Plant Genus of the family Burseraceae

Genus Description Cultivation
Buckinghamia There are 2 species of this genus in the family Proteaceae, both from Queensland, Australia. They are fast-growing, tropical rainforest trees that resemble grevilleas in foliage and flower. Buckinghamia celsissima is frequently grown as a street tree and appreciated for its abundant flowers. CULTIVATION: These plants prefer warm sheltered spots but tolerate cool, frost-free conditions. They like moist well-drained loam in full sun or partial shade. Initial directional pruning can be beneficial but pruning is not required once the framework is established. They are propagated from seed.
Burchellia This is a genus of a single species in the madder family from South Africa, named after William Burchell, a botanical explorer in South Africa. It is not often seen in gardens, in spite of having attractive foliage and showy flowers. CULTIVATION: Burchellia prefers a light, fertile and well-drained soil with plenty of summer moisture, in a warm locality not subject to heavy frosts. It will tolerate full sun and filtered shade. The shrub may need occasional trimming to preserve its natural rounded shape, and a light trimming after flowering to prevent fruit production and so improve flower quality. Seeds can be sown in late winter or spring, or half-hardened cuttings can be taken in late summer or autumn.
Bursaria A genus of the pittosporum family, Bursaria consists of 6 species of evergreen shrubs and small trees native to eastern and southern Australia. They are mostly stiff twiggy shrubs with thorny branches and small leaves. In late spring and summer they bear white flowers in small clusters in the leaf axils or in larger panicles at branch tips. Each small flower has 5 separate petals alternating with 5 stamens. The fruit is a small flattened capsule that splits down the middle to release its few seeds. The capsule is remarkably like that of the weed shepherd?s purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris, and Bursaria is likewise derived from Latin bursa, ?a purse?. Although not very well known outside Australia, some bursarias make attractive ornamentals with foamy masses of white flowers, and can also be grown as thorny hedges. They are are capable of spreading by seed in woodland environments and have the potential to become pests in some climates. CULTIVATION: They are easily grown in climates in which frosts are not too severe, making them fast growing but not very long lived. A sunny but sheltered position is preferred and soil should be well drained and moderately fertile; the roots can penetrate hard clay. Propagate from cuttings or seed.
Bursera Consisting of around 50 species of both evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs, Bursera is restricted to tropical America and the West Indies, with one species extending into southern Florida and another into southern California and Arizona. They are best known for their resins, used in varnish, perfume and incense. The genus gives its name to the family Burseraceae, among whose other genera are those yielding myrrh (Commiphora) and frankincense (Boswellia). Species of Bursera have smooth or flaky pale bark, pinnate leaves with an odd number of leaflets, and small greenish white to yellow flowers with separate petals, grouped in short sprays near the branch tips. The fruits are small to rather large capsules that split into segments to release 1 to 5 hard stones, each containing a single seed. Some shrubby species from hot dry regions such as northwestern Mexico have evolved swollen stems and smaller sparser leaves, and are sometimes collected by succulent enthusiasts. CULTIVATION: The tree species from higher-rainfall areas are grown like most other tropical trees, preferring a sunny but sheltered position and well-drained soil with adequate subsoil moisture. The western Mexican species with swollen stems require a dry atmosphere and an open gravelly soil with excellent drainage; in cooler climates they are grown in greenhouses under high light levels. Propagate from seed or cuttings. Bursera simaruba is known to strike from large lengths of sapling stem, and it is likely that the succulent species will do the same, allowing the cut to callus first.



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