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Polyspora, Fried Egg Plant

Polyspora axillaris

Family: Theaceae (tee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Polyspora
Species: axillaris (ax-ILL-ar-iss) (Info)
Synonym:Camellia axillaris
Synonym:Gordonia axillaris




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Carpinteria, California

Ramona, California

Independence, Louisiana

Humble, Texas

Freeland, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 9, 2015, RosinaBloom from Waihi,
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

What a gorgeous find in Te Aroha - a country town dominated by its namesake Mount Te Aroha, NZ.
Gordonia axillaries is a hardy, evergreen tree that originates in Southern China. Gordonias belong to the Theaceae or tea family, and the white flowers with crepe paper-like petals resemble those of the closely related camellia. Some of the flowers grow in the leaf axils, hence the species name, axillaris. Fertlise regularly to prevent leaves from turning yellow. No pruning required, or otherwise just a light prune in spring after flowering.


On Sep 20, 2004, ruckandmaul from Sydney,
Australia wrote:

Best look: Striking as a small tree for a garden or a footpath. Also as a large screening plant. Position so the fallen flowers can be admired as they drop around the tree. Can also be grown in a large tub.

Good points:
Large (10cm or 4" across) white flowers with prominent golden stamens.
Long flowering - flowers from autumn to spring. Peak probably May to June (Sydney, Australia) but varies with location as it grows over such a large area. As an extra show, the flowers fall around the tree 'butter side' up (that is with the stamens up).
Pest or disease free.
Glossy green leaves which get red tips in the winter.
Will grow in sun to light shade.
The bark is shed to reveal an attractive smooth satiny tan trunk which is very appea... read more


On Apr 27, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This is a tall shrub or small tree that reaches up to 5 meters tall. It has a shiny and dark foliage, with glossy leaves, showing red tips on winter.The flowers are big, white, with 5 petals, scented, with a cluster of yellow stamens in the middle. These flowers dont dry nor wilter on the plant, it just drops, falling on the ground with the stamens up. The ground under and around the tree may be covered with these flowers that, as they say, look like a carpet of fried eggs.

It is said to tolerate light frosts when grown up, but the younger plants must be kept frost free. Apreciates moderate temperatures, regular watering, and full sun to partial shade.