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  • Lotus
    • berthelotii   CAG02935
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      Lotus berthelotii
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A stunning perennial groundcover now extinct in its native home the Canary Islands. The soft, trailing mat of whorled, grey-green linear leaves smothers in fiery clusters of red and orange beak-like flowers throughout spring.

      A quick growing, nitrogen fixing legume, traditionally regarded as a potted annual. In our ideal climate it also a hardy groundcover for well drained, sunny sites and is at its best in alkaline sand. Simulate its natural habitat by draping it down a limestone retaining wall or cliff, or just mass it for unbridled colour.

      Somewhat deciduous over summer, when over watering usually proves fatal. Frost tender. Easily propagated by cuttings.

  • Aeonium
    • arboreum ‘Atropurpureum’   CAG02828
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      LightSun - L. Sh.

      An old garden relic (no trendy cultivar name here) with large, green centred, burgundy rosettes of succulent, spoon shaped leaves, developing into a thick stemmed shrub in just a few years. Fat, fluffy cones of tiny sulphur flowers are borne in spring when mature, often exhausting the plant but any non-flowering rosettes are easily broken off and replanted so sit back and enjoy the show.

      Winter growing and summer drought loving, as expected from a Canary Island plant, and as with most of the genus too much moisture and shade leads to rapid and unsustainable growth, though some protection from midday summer sun may be needed. Give it a well drained limestone cliff, or even some well drained soil, sans irrigation, and you will have a gorgeous and long lived garden plant.

      Barely frost tolerant.

  • Canarina
    • canariensis   CAG01713

      (Canary Island bellflower)
      Flowering SeasonWi - Sp
      LightLight Shade
      Canarina canariensis

      A winter growing climber from the Canary Islands and one of the few members of the Campanula family with flowers of a colour other than blue, purple, white or pink.

      Succulent stems scramble over any nearby support clothing themselves as they grow with rubbery, toothed, triangular leaves. From mid winter until the summer heat, pendant , bell shaped, orange flowers, intricately veined in red, glow amongst the foliage. Improbably real, rather seeming to be molded from translucent orange rubber and stuck on by a garden prankster.
      With the onset of summer it quietly retreats underground to it's large tuberous roots to await the cooler moister weather needed to support such a riot of opulent growth, making it ideally suited to Perth's Mediterranean climate.

      A lightly shaded site with well drained soil and little if any summer water is ideal. Against the south side of a house or other building is often to it's liking making it one of the few plants to thrive in such a situation.

      So unlike any other plant. Plant porn as it's finest.

  • Dracaena
  • Erysimum


    • scoparium   CAG01640

      (Teide wallflower)
      Flowering SeasonAll
      LightSun - L. Sh.
      Erysimum scoparium

      A charming Wallflower from the Canary Islands, which once grown will convince you that all others are inferior.

      Ever-blooming spikes of small lilac flowers on slender stems hover above fine, grey-green foliage, forming a low dense shrub considerably wider than it is tall. Ideal at the foot of bare legged Roses or other shrubs, breaking up the edge of paths, driveways, car parks or anywhere a high tolerance of reflected heat is required. Looks good when planted with absolutely anything, though other Mediterranean type plants like Euphorbia characias, Cistus or Ballota may be more ideologically appropriate.

      At home with summer drought and poor, very sunny, well drained, alkaline soil, it will none the less grow quite happily in all but the wettest, shadiest sites.

      Undemanding in terms of maintenance, spent flower heads virtually disappear, an occasional light trim will sharpen it's outline, otherwise prune as required.

  • Euphorbia
    • atropurpurea var. atropurpurea   CAG02543
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      LightFull Sun

      A summer deciduous shrub of outstanding form, happiest in dry, exposed sites where it forms a dense crown of branches clothed in blue-green, linear leaves and bears in spring clusters of dark red flower-like bracts that enclose the true but tiny flowers.

      Naturally found on the lean, limestone soil of the Canary Islands, though it's quite content in all but poorly drained soil, it is well suited to garden life in the south west. Tolerant of at least light frost but inland gardeners may need to be cautious.

    • lambii   CAG02356
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      LightSun - L. Sh.
      Euphorbia lambii

      A sculptural tree like shrub from the Canary Islands forming a domed crown of blue-green, bluntly lance shaped leaves held in moppy rosettes atop smooth bare branches. In spring the rounded heads of long lasting lime green bracts contrast and further defy convention.

      Appreciating a little shade its unique character can be used as a feature silhouetted against a wall or the trunk of a large Eucalypt, else plant it by a path to be walked under and admired in maturity. Under plant with low growing, dry loving plants of choice, maybe Cyclamen or even other Euphorbia for a study in green or for a larger scale a few clumps of Agave attenuata mirroring its rosetted foliage.

      Easily grown in any reasonably well drained soil.

      As with any plant grown for tree like form, trunk or caudex, starting with a young seed raised plant is essential. Cutting grown plants make very nice rounded shrubs but will never develop the desired characteristic.

  • Geranium


    Not to be confused with Pelargonium x hortorum which are often incorrectly referred to as Geraniums.

    These are the Cranesbills (in reference the shape of their seedpods), mostly encountered in gardening media as cold tolerant plants of meadows and mountainsides with their many selected garden forms and hybrids. Most of these, including some highly promoted patented types, perform poorly in the south-west of Western Australia where hot dry summers and warm wet winters take their toll, though they will usually persevere for a year or two.

    Not all are a lost cause, they are globally distributed and some are from warmer regions, there are several species from southern Africa and the Canary Islands. A few species are adaptable enough to even become weeds.

    There are various growth habits including clump forming perennials and sub-shrubs as well as rosette forming monocarps (biennials) and they may be cool or warm season growers and evergreen or either winter or summer deciduous.
    • palmatum   CAG00739
      Flowering SeasonSp - Su
      WaterM - L
      LightPart Shade

      An alternative to G. maderense, prima donna of the genus, for those who find it a struggle or just want a more amenable, smaller statured and easier to accommodate plant. Forming evergreen mounds of five lobed, bright green leaves held on long fleshy stems which radiate from a central trunk or trunks. Into summer masses of purple-pink, crimson centred, saucer shaped flowers are produced in large loose clusters. Bold, yet softening and "cottagey", stunning en masse especially against a boldly coloured south wall.

      From the Canary Islands, like its more famous cousin, and ideally suited to a mediterannean climate although more tolerant of heavy soil, excess summer moisture and cold.

      Technically perennial but collect a few seed each year as it tends to be short lived and doesn't always self seed with reckless abandon.

  • Ranunculus
    • cortusifolius   CAG01433

      (Canary buttercup)
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      Ranunculus cortusifolius

      A Buttercup on steroids from the laurel forest of the Canary Islands. Huge, coarsely haired, umbrella-like leaves emerge from a spidery tuberous rootstock, on stout fleshy stems. After a winter of exuberant growth a sturdy, much branched stem of gloss enamel, canary yellow, green centred, buttercup flowers is thrust skyward. The entire plant slowly shrivels with increasing summer temperatures, only to return the following winter bigger and badder than ever.

      For winter moist, shady sites, preferably dryish over summer and when happy self seeding with desirable abandon. Also growable as a show winning potted specimen.

  • Salvia


    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.
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