Whilst I am feeling slightly Christmassy I thought I’d sing the praise of one of our most recognisable native plants, the NSW Christmas Bush Horah! don’t they look amazing at the moment? something in the strange spring we had must be setting them off. I love these trees whether they are in their white spring flowering stage or the bursting red sepals or even just the new growth is stunning.
It is one of those natives that could almost pass for an exotic, the leaf is a little maple like.
There are plenty of sizes available now from the shrub form ‘Johanna’s Christmas’ which is supposed to only get to a metre (really?), then there is Ceratopetalum ‘White Christmas’ where the calyx lobes remain white to green in colour throughout the flowering and seed developing period. Galahs and other parrots will sometimes feed on the calyx, which can be a more magenta-like red or pink in hybrid species.
I have seen so many beautiful specimens lately but this is one of the best (please ignore the rubbish bin behind the trunk), it has a beautiful habit, quite wide for a Christmas Bush, often they are more conical in habit, making them good for narrow spots.
They like a well drained soil, with a fair amount of moisture and benefit from being planted with a tree tablet for the extra nitrogen. They will grow in part shade nicely also, especially if protected from the hot sun and the cut flowers last for ages too.