'Aztec Pearl' Cutleaf Mexican Orange
Here's something for that elusive 4-5' high evergreen, plus it has great fragrance and is deer resistant. This cross has much finer foliage than the straight Choisya ternata and seems less fussy on its location. The five fingered leaves have a wonderful texture that contrast well with rounded leaf forms or purple foliage. It is reported to get larger that 5' but in our experience it is easy to tip prune it to keep it around 4' tall and wide. It is also reported to be hardy to Zone 8 but we have not had any problems with keeping it through the winter, even when we got to 7 degrees this past December. The key is to place it where it gets at least some winter sun, and that the soil is well draining and doesn't get over watered. If those needs are met, it seems very cold hardy for the Rogue Valley. 'Aztec Pearl' will take more sun than the straight species, either full sun to half a day of sun. It looks handsome all year and especially when it has clusters of white flowers in the late spring that have a spicy, citrusy fragrance. The leaves are poisonous which keep the deer away and can be drought tolerant once established.