Friday, December 26, 2014

Embothrium coccineum is my favorite plant in the garden, this week (and the monthly wrap-up)

That's it, on the left (bamboo on the right).

This is what it looked like in 2012, when I bought the tiny little guy at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, not even a foot tall.

I have to admit the common name is a lot more romantic.

Here it is shortly after planting.

And then it exploded.

I didn't think to protect it last winter, during our December cold or February snow. It didn't care.

As it's grown over the last two and a half years it's gone through a couple of interesting changes in the leaf shape and arrangement.

But I should back up. Usually a favorite just jumps out at me and I dutifully snap photos and post about it. That's what happened with the Embothrium coccineum and I took photos above, but then I noticed how good that opuntia was looking and then the Aloe Haworthioides bloomed, and by the time I finally got back around to the embothrium look at what is happening...

Yikes, that's a lot of yellow.

We haven't even seen severe cold temps. Nor have we had a drought or big rains.

Just a few blocks away there are two established embothrium at the Kennedy School. These photos were taken in the spring, but now they are also turning yellow. I've heard it can go deciduous when the temps stay in the teens (which they haven't).

I was kind of hoping I'd see flowers like this on my tree this spring. Now I'm just hoping it's still alive in the spring.

Cistus Nursery says; "A slender tree, to 25 ft eventually in full to part sun, with regular water. Loves cool ground so best in a north aspect and/or with ground covering plants to protect the roots. No phosphorous fertilizer! Cold hardy to USDA zone 7b." Annies Annuals says: "It’s a slow grower for the first two years. You might want to keep it in a container for at least a year." Slow grower? Not here!

So this, the last Friday of the month, serves as the wrap up of all my (and your) favorites for December. I previously posted about the NOID Opuntia and last week about the Aloe. What have you admired during this last (!!!) month of 2014?

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

28 comments:

  1. Wow! I hope mine takes off like that too (without the yellowing part though). I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that yours survives and even blooms. Keep us posted.

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    1. Where is yours planted Alison? (I don't remember seeing it)

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  2. Hmm. I'm thinking this might make an excellent replacement for the ugly, half-dead Pittosporum shrubs serving as hedge material in back of my street-side succulent bed. It's not too cold here! My only challenge will be convincing my husband to dig out the Pittosporum...Here's my favorites post: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2014/12/my-favorite-plant-of-week-pyrus.html . Thanks for hosting Loree!

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    1. Have you been to the Australian Garden at the Huntington? Perhaps a stroll around the garden might inspire you with other fabulous options too?

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  3. Mine from the 2012 YGP show, did beautifully in a pot then sadly died in late summer last year after I missed watering it. Yours looks so happy, I might try again. Although Sean's Trees For All Seasons remarks that it could get to 30-40 feet, I might be able to shoehorn in a 25 foot tree... And those blooms!!!

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    1. Exactly, those blooms! Mine is so tall and thin it looks to be easily shoehorned in about anywhere...do it!

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  4. Fingers crossed for blooms for you this spring! Mine took off too and I'm hoping for the same. My favorite this week is a Hellebore. http://outlawgarden.blogspot.com/2014/12/helleborus-orientalis-is-my-favorite.html

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    1. Guess I really need to go have a look at my hellebores!

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  5. Those blooms are very dramatic, I can see why you liked it.

    I will keep my fingers crossed that your one recovers.

    I'm with Outlaw in terms of my favourite plant because I can see quite a few of my Hellebores starting to grow in my garden.

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    1. Having been gone for the last 11 days I'm feeling out of touch with my garden...must get out there and see what's happening!

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  6. They're so stunning when in bloom. Hope yours will flower next year.

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  7. This was definitely one of the "IT" plants last year. I hope it will thrive for you. I'm keeping all my favoritism to myself this month, but plan to jump back in in January when things calm down.

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    1. Oh ricki, you have such a great way with words! I look forward to seeing what you share in January.

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  8. I was half expecting you'd show a specimen growing in the shade pavilion, even better that's ot actually growing outside, cool!

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    1. Having watched the ones at Kennedy School this was a plant I had no thought of planting in a container, for a change!

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  9. Don't worry, the hardy forms of this species seem to go deciduous when they reach a certain size and age. Mine did that at about six feet. I saw a small flowering event last spriong when they were ten feet tall. I'm hoping for more this coming spring. Embothrium coccineum ‘Inca Flame’, a suckering type with much larger leaves, both length and width, doesn't handle temperature much below 20° as I found out with mine. All the new growth was burnt off a couple of years ago during a windy and cold event. It also has sent up suckers all around it. The main plant is still six feet tall, and hopefully will get big enough to flower since it is suppose to put on even more of a show than the hardy versions.
    So the bottom line is that your plant is good to go. The 30 to 40 foot one at the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle goes deciduous every year and still puts on a great show in May.

    John(Aberdeen)

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    1. Thanks for the info John, appreciate it!

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  10. So many of my plants survived transplant, but not Chilean Flame Tree. I plan to try again next season. Glad yours is doing so well. I can at least visit it.

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    1. Yes you can, anytime. Make it a threesome and visit the two at KS on your way!

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  11. I was going to say something about your tree going dormant being a sign that it's a hardier form and is probably maturing, but I see John already covered that. Same thing happens with oaks and our native red huckleberry. Oaks keep their dead leaves on through winter until they reach maturity. Red huckleberry seedlings grow low to the ground with shiny, evergreen leaves for a few years and then they start to send up long, upright shoots with thinner, matte green, deciduous leaves. I'd guess your Embothrium is probably going to bloom in 2015! The lack of severe cold temps allowed it to go dormant at its own pace rather than being damaged by a sudden cold snap.

    I hope my little flame trees make it through the cold predicted for this week. I should probably check to see if my parents have left them covered from the last cold period or if they need to be covered again. They're no bigger than yours started out as.

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    1. I hope your parents have tended to all your tender plants in your absence, it's been an easy winter but what for a couple of jolts of cold - this current event looks to be the coldest.

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  12. Hi Loree, Neil in Victoria BC again. Thanks for posting this as my little three foot Embothrium has lost nearly all its leaves after having three or four flowers last spring and setting seed (which I collected). The stems and branches look good so I guess they are semi evergreens in our climate. We did have a very mild Nov. then a short cold snap before it began dropping. Looks like we're into another one over the next few days as an Arctic front blows in. Wish my little friend luck! Hope you are enjoying your vacay. Cheers, Neil

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    1. You got flowers!? That's wonderful. I collected seed from the plants at Kennedy School a couple of years ago, of course I never did anything with them but the seed pod is beautiful. Hope yours powers through this cold stretch.

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  13. I was about to say "isn't it so great when a plant thrives even without special attention?", but now I just hope it's ok! Surely it will be.

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  14. AnonymousMay 12, 2015

    So now that it's May, did it come out of winter ok? Yellowing gone? Did it flower yet? I'm wondering how many years until mine flowers. Very fast grower for me here in Issaquah. And it did transplant well when I moved it in March to put in veggie beds even though I accidentally left it out of the ground for a few dry days.

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    1. It's looking great. Leafing out again and the yellowing is just a bad memory. Sadly there are no blooms this year...

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