Elements of an Exotic Garden VII

melianthus (294x300)Melianthus major – Honey Bush is an evergreen shrub native to South Africa. It is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner with unusual greyish-blue foliage that smells of peanut butter when rubbed. The dark crimson flower spikes are occasionally produced here in summer. Best grown as a container specimen and overwintered as a houseplant. Grows 6-10′ where hardy. Zone 8.

001 (300x300)Pernettya mucronata ‘Bell’s Seedling’ (renamed Gaultheria mucronata) – Prickly Heath is an evergreen shrub native to South America that bears white heather-like flowers in early summer. ‘Bell’s Seedling’ is a self-fertile hermaphrodite that produces showy deep rose berries. It is also an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner and can be lightly contour sheared. 3′ high and wide. Z7.

eucgunnii (292x300)Eucalyptus gunnii (syn. E. divaricata) – Cider Gum is a native of Tasmania and is often grown for its rounded juvenile foliage that is used as greens in floral arrangements. It can be trained as a large shrub or small tree, but is often damaged or killed during cold winter weather. This RHS Award of Garden Merit winner has attractive peeling bark. Grows 30-40’+ high where hardy. Z8.

peonykinkaku (300x298)Paeonia suffruticosa – The Chinese Tree Peony makes a great addition to any exotic garden with their huge (8-12″ across) terminal spring blooms. Named varieties may be single, semi-double or double with a colour range of pink, yellow, purple, red, white and orange. It is a slow-growing woody shrub that resents being transplanted. Grows 3-5′ high by 4′ wide. Zone 5.

solanum (295x300)Solanum rantonnetii (syn. Lycianthes rantonnetii) – Blue Potato Bush is a South American native that is often seen trained as a containerized tree standard. It bears clusters of violet-blue flowers accented with purple bars and a yellow center – these are borne throughout summer into fall. ‘Royal Robe’ is the most common cultivar. Overwinter indoors. Grows 3-6′ high where hardy. Z9.

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