We’ve been told the leaf looks coarse or primitive, but we say it has a tropical flair. In fact, it is the farthest north-growing member of a very tropical family. The dark green leaves can be over a foot in length, and its smooth silvery bark certainly ... adds to the tropical feel. Very early in the spring, deep purple flowers hang like velvety bells, but have a scent only a beetle or fly could love (these are the main pollinators). The fruit is no longer than 6 inches and is extremely rich and edible, ripening in the fall. We have grown it in more than half-day sun, but we recommend planting in part shade with protection from the south and west. More than one tree is needed for cross-pollination and good fruit set.