I am returning to a challenge I set myself over a year ago to increase my knowledge of the many beautiful and useful Eremophila species, I am quite behind the time line I set myself, but better late than never!
This stunning Emu bush is Eremophila oppositifolia, I have been on the look out for one in full flower for years and finally found it in the Grevillea Park in Bulli last weekend.
The main part of this Eremophilas charm is its sepals which appear as a flower shape making the shrub look like it is flowering twice, not dissimilar to the NSW Christmas.
Eremophila oppositifolia is very hardy and will grow on the NSW coast without too much hoohah and doesn’t really need to be grafted. It loves full sun and a well drained soil, so plant on a slope to ensure adequate drainage if you have a heavy soil.
There are a few cultivars of this Eremophila with differing flower colours to contrast with the ever present calyx. All of them have the lovely narrow leaf and tight bell flower and grow from 2-3 metres high and about the same wide.
This really is a useful shrub in a native garden and could easily be mixed in with exotic species without looking too out of place. A delicate plant that provides excellent food and shelter for birds and is attractive to bees and other insects, I will definitely be using it more often in my garden designs.