Crowea exalata pink

Native Plant of the Week – Crowea

This week’s native plant of the week provides essential colour in a Australian native cottage garden at a time of year when blooms can be hard to come by!

Flowering most profusely through autumn and early winter, with sporadic blooms also in spring and summer, Crowea are pretty small shrubs that fit ever so naturally into a cottage garden style.

Their foliage is soft and leafy in bright green tones mostly, dotted with small bright to pastel pink or white flowers.
Besides providing welcome autumn colour, they are also incredibly useful for shaded spots. In my garden they grow in tricky positions on the shaded south side of buildings and built structures. Crowea saligna varieties will flower even in the deepest of shade, although of course flowering will be more generous in sunnier positions.
In my clay loam soils keeping Crowea saligna alive long term can be a challenge at times. Crowea exalata varieties are hardier in my experience, less fussy about having damp feet from time to time. They even sailed through the recent extreme rain event and flooding!
Crowea exalata grows naturally into a compact lime green small shrub. It would make a lovely cottage garden border. The pink star flowers are long lasting and I have heard it makes a good cut flower too, although I enjoy their colour in the garden too much to be cutting them.
Crowea saligna varieties have bigger broader leaves and there are larger flowered varieties, one in particular cultivated at the Australian Botanic Garden.
More recently I have been growing Crowea Brandy Hills in my south facing front garden. Available from Cool Natives Nursery and often from APSNSW member plant sales, it is a stunning Crowea, fast growing, with lovely contrasting burgundy stems, bright green fleshy leaves and a profusion of flowers even without direct sun.
I thoroughly recommend adding a beautiful Crowea to your garden!


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