|OTHER COMMON NAMES: SANDPAPER ANACUA, SANDPAPER TREE, KNOCKAWAY, KNACKAWAY, MANZANITA, MANZANILLO
BOTANICAL NAME: Ehretia anacua
PRONUNCIATION: eh-REE-shah ah-NOK-you-ah or ah-NOK-wha
FAMLY: Boraginaceae (Borage Family)
TYPE: Evergreen (almost) shade Tree
HEIGHT: 30-40 feet with ultimate height of 50 feet.
SPREAD: 30 feet
FINAL SPACING: 30-40 feet apart.
NATURAL HABITAT AND PREFERRED SITE: Anacua is native to Southern Texas. It grows in full sun in alkaline soils with good drainage, but it can also survive in slightly acid sands and clays. In sandy soils it tends to sucker causing thickets. It could be introduced fairly successfully as far north as Austin. Its primary native location is the Gulf prairies and marshes, Rio Grande plains and Edwards Plateau along the Balones escarpment in Comal, Hays and Travis Counties.
IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION: The crown is very dense and creates heavy shade. Mature trees often have a distinctive gnarled appearance and are often multiple trunked. Anacua is mostly evergreen although it loses some of its foliage in the winter.
FLOWERS AND FRUIT: Anacua blooms from late fall through winter into the early spring depending on rain and climate. May have more than one blooming period. The flowers are pure white and fragrant. The spring ripening fruits are bright orange droops about the size of hackberries. They are 1/4 inch wide and contain two seeds. The fruit doesn’t stay on the tree long because they are favorites of birds and other wildlife. Anacua rarely set flowers and fruit in areas north of San Antonio.
FOLIAGE: The foliage is dark green – almost evergreen – and has a rough sandpaper texture. The shape of the leaves is elliptical.