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  • Chasmanthe
    • floribunda   CAG02923
      Height1.5m
      Width60cm
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL
      LightSun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      Like a Watsonia on roids.
      Bold lush clumps of bright green, sword-like leaves support slightly wayward, planar spikes of tubular, burnt orange, bird pollinated flowers on slender dark stems, perfect for the vase or the drought loving tropical style garden. Cormous and summer deciduous. From south western Africa.

      Not weedy as are some of the Watsonia, with which it is often confused, though it does self sow and seems to be more fond of drier conditions.
      Easily grown in any well drained sunny soil, during its summer dormancy irrigation is unnecessary and may even be of detriment (I've never tried watering it).

  • Echeveria
  • Epilobium
    • canum subsp. canum   CAG02255

      (syn. Zauschneria californica)
      Height50cm
      Width80cm
      Flowering SeasonSu - Au
      WaterL
      LightSun
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A soft, grey, sub-shrub from the South West United States, where, as here, it is exceptional for flowering during the heat and drought of summer and autumn. When tubular, scarlet flowers adorn the plant profusely and are much loved by hummingbirds, or honey-eaters in our case.

      Good drainage is preferred, though heavy soils may be tolerated briefly. An occasional drink over summer will encourage flowering but is not necessary, too much and you will permanently prevent flowering and life. Probably a strictly west cost plant, it may be worth trying in the eastern states with impeccable drainage, full exposure and no irrigation, though I suspect success would be only temporary.

      Cut back to ground level during winter when new growth is seen at the base otherwise it tends to become untidy by flowering time.

      Given bare soil seedlings can appear and transplant readily. Seedlings may differ from their parents with leaves that can be silver to sage green and with flowers varying in their depth of colour. These variations can be seen in the nursery and all are lovely, in time separate clones may be selected based on arbitrary and distinct qualities.

  • Kniphofia

    (Red hot poker, Torch Lily)
    Xanthorrhoeaceae

    Stunning plants with flower heads almost always of strong vertical form and in uncommon colourings. A staple of the garden design palette they are versatile and dependable in well drained soil, either in mass plantings, perhaps in an array of colours, and exceptional when combined with other flowers of simple form eg. Achillea, Echinops. At their best when sited so later season performers obscure their grass-like foliage which can become untidy after flowering and tending to burn in too dry heat.

    Though wild plants are predominantly from seasonally moist habitats in the summer rainfall regions of southern Africa they do survive periods of dryness well thanks to a fleshy root system but they will, with some exception, require a degree of summer moisture to perform and flower in our climate.
  • Leonotis
  • Penstemon

    (Beardtongue)
    Plantaginaceae

    A North American genus consisting of mostly drought and heat tolerant clumping perennials or sub-shrubs with tubular flowers. There are many spectacular species and cultivars in a wide range of colours from white through pink, red, purple and a few yellows but most notably blues of a luminosity rarely found in other genera.

    Wild species tend to be more heat and drought tolerant than English hybrids developed for milder climates, though all demand ample sunlight and excellent drainage, preferably with poor soil.
  • Salvia

    (Sage)
    Lamiaceae

    A genus whose popularity has risen exponentially in recent times. Offering a diverse range of form and colour there is a Salvia for nearly every garden situation with more and more being discovered and described all the time. The count now stands somewhere in excess of 1000, including subspecies, according to The Plant List. They are found on every continent except Antarctica.

    From a gardeners perspective they can not all be treated the same, they come from many different climates after all, but as a rule of thumb can be grouped into winter rainfall and summer rainfall species and with few exceptions they all prefer well drained soil.

    Soft leaved species from Central and South America are usually autumn and winter flowering. Coming from summer rainfall areas they typically need protection from dry heat and the accompanying high light intensity and they vary in their tolerance of winter damp. As with most plants the larger the leaves the more water they require, this also dictates how fast they grow with many growing several metres in a single season.

    Species from south western North America, South Africa, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands are all winter growers and are tolerant or demanding of dry heat and summer drought. Slower growing but usually longer lived these all tend to have small, densely haired, silver or grey leaves or a combination of these traits which help them conserve moisture. Most of these require no additional water in Perth and are well adapted to our climate. They tend tend to flower from spring into summer.


    Prune back to where vigorous new basal growth is seen, never to dead wood, they appear to store little food in their stems and without leaves stand a chance of starving to death or at least struggle to regenerate. The exception is those few that are tuberous or clump forming, these can be cut to ground level once the stems start dying back in late autumn.
    • ‘Black Knight’   CAG00572
      Height2m
      Width1m
      Flowering SeasonSp - Au
      WaterM - H
      LightLight Shade
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A tender variety derived from the high altitude Brazilian species S. splendens commonly encountered in dwarf forms used in bedding schemes, performing dependably with good drainage, enough summer water and protection from wind, midday sun and frost. In the right location it will grow rapidly forming an erect shrub clothed in thinly textured, broadly lanceolate leaves, and bear short spikes of tubular, two lipped flowers in a scrumptious rich purple from darker bracts. Very showy, lush, and flowering almost year round.

      Thin old exhausted stems to make way for vigorous new basal growth when it is seen. Expect a life span of 3-4 years, better to replace tired plants with young fast growing new ones than to nursemaid them in senescence.

    • lanceolata   CAG01580
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