Premna microphylla

Common Name: musk maple 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Eastern Asia
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Yellowish-white
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10 where it may be grown in evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Established plants have some drought tolerance. Propagate by seed or cuttings. Cuttings from established bonsai plants are best for establishing new bonsai.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Premna microphylla, commonly known as Japanese musk maple or Japanese neem tree, is a perennial shrub or small tree that typically grows in the wild to 10’ tall and as wide. It is native to forested areas on mountain slopes in southcentral to southeastern China and Taiwan. Small flowers in conical panicles bloom in late spring to early summer. Calyx is green and slightly purplish, cup-shaped, and densely pubescent to subglabrous. Corolla is yellowish-white. Globose to obovate dark purple fruit (berry-like drupes) matures in late summer to early fall. Leaves are opposite, ovate-lanceolate, elliptic, ovate or obovate (to 5” long) with entire or lobed to sometimes serulate margins.

Genus name comes from the Greek word premnon meaning tree stump in reference to the short trunks found on many of the species trees in this genus.

Specific epithet from Latin means having small leaves.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Accent for sunny areas of the landscape. Containers. Bonsai.