Escallonia – Popular Shrubs for the Garden


Escallonia macrantha

Escallonia

The finest escallonias are seen by the sea, where Escallonia macrantha is often used as a hedging plant. Its rosy-crimson flowers, which have a honey fragrance, set among the dark green leaves are a familiar sight in the late spring and summer of most coastal areas. It is most particularly found in the south and west of England.

The escallonias are, with few exceptions, evergreen shrubs, although they tend to be semi-evergreen in colder areas, where they are best given the shelter of a wall. They all do well near the sea, although some of them are hardy enough to be grown in inland gardens.

Escallonia X langleyensis Among the hardiest are Escallonia X langleyensis, a hybrid with rosy carmine flowers, that grows to about 5-6 feet, or up to 10 feet near the coast. Escallonia X edinensis, another not quite so tall hybrid, has rosy-pink flowers, while ‘Slieve Donard’, apple-blossom pink in colour, is one of a number of hybrids developed at a well-known nursery in Northern Ireland, in various shades of pink.

In general, escallonias do not require special soil, though they do best in rich loam. They make good hedges and in coastal areas grow densely enough to form excellent wind-breaks. Their growths tend to be somewhat arching and, if neglected, straggly, but this can be controlled by hard pruning, which entails cutting off flowered shoots once the flowers are over.

Half-ripe cuttings, taken in August, will root readily in bottom heat.

14. October 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Herbaceous Plants, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Escallonia – Popular Shrubs for the Garden

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