Episode 25: PLANT OF THE WEEK

Eremophlia nivea

A beautiful, Australian, silver-grey shrub, 1m-2m tall with small, lavender coloured flowers in late winter or spring.  It comes from the northern areas of SW WA and grows well in improved, free draining soil. Prefers full sun or full sun and part shade.

 

Pride of Madera (Echium candicans)

A striking, architectural shrub 2-2.5m tall and wide with candle-like flower spikes in blue, purple or pink in spring.  It is a water wise, Mediterranean plant with attractive grey- green foliage and tolerates coastal conditions and full sun but also grows well in part shade.

 

Chinese lantern (Abutilon hybrids)

Closely related to hibiscus, these plants have pendulous, lantern-shaped, flowers in pink and autumn tones for most of the year and maple-like soft leaves.  They need a frost free position and free draining, fertile soil and afternoon shade in summer in hot areas.

Prune to maintain shape in winter if they become leggy.  Plants come in forms from groundcovers to shrubs up to 2m tall.  The popular dwarf ‘Lucky Lantern’ series grow to just 30cm tall and wide, making them good pot specimens.

 

Rosemary

A shrubby herb with aromatic, needle-like leaves and small blue flowers (though pink and white forms are also available) in spring or summer.  It can be trimmed into a standard, grown as a shrub, clipped to form a hedge and prostrate forms spread quickly and drape attractively over walls. The leaves are used to flavour food, and it’s especially good with lamb and roast potatoes. The variety ‘Tuscan Blue’ is one of our favourites.

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