|ST 15521 80360
|11M April 2022
General tree description
Drimys winteri is a small tree or large shrub, up to around 20 metres in height and with a spreading shape. It has smooth, light brown or grey, aromatic bark. The leaves are oblong-elliptic, 7 to 17 cm long, glossy and leathery. In spring there are clusters of large (3 to 4 cm across), creamy-white, fragrant flowers. These are followed by black fruits in autumn. The common name Winter's bark comes from Captain William Winter, who sailed with Sir Francis Drake on his round the world voyage in 1577. On his return to England in 1579-80 Winter brought the bark of this tree from the Straits of Magellan, his ship's crew having used it as a medicine against scurvy.
In Britain Drimys winteri is not generally hardy. It is described in the Tree Register Handbook (2011) as "occasional in milder areas".