Friday, May 23, 2008

Cantua, brilliant red flowers

Cantua buxifolia
Originally uploaded by philipbouchard
Cantua buxifolia is in full flower in my yard right now, with glowing bursts of red fire from its 3 inch long trumpet shaped flowers, at the ends of gracefully arching branches.

My two plants are each 6 feet tall, and I learned about the Cantua from my Chilean gardening friend. We went to a plant nursery and had the manager order five plants for us.

This plant is beloved in Chile, and for good reason. These long lived shrubs develop thicker trunks and branches, and even reach second story windows in Chile, she told me. Here in California they top out at 5 to 10 feet tall. Hummingbirds are attracted to them.

Each year prune back branches since the flowers appear at the end of branches with new growth. Since they can be a bit bedraggled in the cold months, and lose some leaves, I have other plants growing on and through them, including a flowering sage.

Some Cantuas have flowers of varied hues; I am so happy that my two shrubs are loaded with the brilliant red flowers I wanted.
Ideal for zones 9b to 11, or overwinter them in a greenhouse.


Strawberry Lane said...

Hi Neighbor,
Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Then I was able to have the wonderful pleasure of reading through your blog site. Interesting reading!

What a stunning photograph of a beautiful flower!

L.L. Barkat said...

Beautiful flowers!

Thanks, btw, for stopping by Seedlings in Stone.

Nicole said...

That is a very lovely flower-I don't think I know it. Lemon verbena is also a favourite of mine I just love the smell. I had lemon verbena ice cream once in Geneva that was divine.