Crinodendron (Chilean Lantern Tree)
Common name: Chilean lantern tree
Attractive as Crinodendron hookerianum (AGM) is, not everyone has the opportunity to grow it. Requiring a warm, sheltered spot where it is not subjected to strong winds, it really only succeeds in mild districts and on lime-free.
Crinodendron hookerianum (AGM) was introduced to Europe in 1848 from Chile. It grows to a height of 3m (10ft), with an upright, dense, bushy habit. The evergreen leaves are dark green, leathery and toothed. The flower buds start to form in the autumn. The main feature — attractive coral-red lantern-shaped— is carried on 7cm (3in) long pendent stalks from mid to late spring.
Soil type Lime-free, moist and well-drained.
Planting Plant in early to mid-spring in a lightly shaded spot, ideally where it is sheltered by a south-facing wall.
Maintenance Any unwanted branches can be removed in the spring, otherwiseis not necessary.
Propagation Increase by taking cuttings with a heel, using half-ripe shoots, in early to mid-summer. Root and pot on, always using a lime-free compost. Young plants should be ready for planting out in their second year.
Pests and diseases Pest attacks are unlikely, but this shrub can fall victim to honey fungus disease.