I can’t help myself, I seem always to be drawn to the unique foliage and flowers of the native plants which grow naturally in Western Australia. Which then leads me to buy many grafted native plants or grow them in pots or try the ‘see how she goes’ test in my garden.
This is Chorilaena quercifolia and it has easily passed the ‘see how she goes’ test both in my garden and in friends, family and clients, it is a truly wonderful addition to any garden, native or exotic.
Chorilaena quercifolia grows naturally in Southern Western Australia under the canopy of the Karri trees, making it perfectly comfortable in dry shade. IT grows anywhere from 1m to 3 metres high and the same spread, although there are dwarf varieties available.
The furry oak leaf leaves are what first attracted me to this shrub, it belongs to the Rutaceae Family, where many of the species have hairy leaves and small drooping flowers.
As I was drawn to the foliage first the flowers were an added bonus, and what a bonus they are! They appear in late Winter and can last for 6 months or more. The thing I like most about them is the way they come out red first and then age to a pale cream colour, this gives the the shrub an extra highlight and although the flowers are quite small they become noticeable because of their number.
Small nectar feeding birds are attracted to the flowers and as the shrub is quite dense it can also serve as a refuge and habitat plant.
Chorilaena quercifolia responds well to pruning and has so far survived extended periods of humidity in my garden. It is also reasonably frost tolerant as I first saw it in the National Botanic Gardens in Canberra and also growing in a garden on Bruny Island in Tasmania.