Friday, June 26, 2015

My favorite plant this week: Leptospermum 'Copper Glow'

My favorite plant this week was purchased as Leptospermum 'Copper Glow'.  In researching the plant on line I found two species of 'Copper Glow'.  One was L. petersonii and the other was L. polygalifolium.  Although I liked the idea that we might share a name, my guess is that my plants are L. polygalifolium.  L. petersonii is described as a lemon-scented shrub with foliage that's copper when new and green at maturity but I can't detect any lemony fragrance in the leaves of mine and the foliage is more bronze than green.

Whatever its species, it's a beautiful, graceful shrub.  I planted 2 of these shrubs late last year, both in front garden.

Both shrubs are shown here, one in the foreground on the left and the other in the background on the far right


Their form is more like that of Agonis flexuosa 'Nana' than that of the traditional tea tree, L. scoparium.

A closer look at the shrub on the north side of the front walkway

and the shrub on the south side of the walkway


According to the tag on the pot, my plants should grow 5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 meters) tall and 6-7 feet (1.8-2.1 meters) wide; however, on-line sources predict 2-3 meters (6.5-9.8 feet) tall and wide.  The plants are responsive to pruning, though, and I'm hoping to keep mine within the bounds shown on the tag.

The plants are reportedly drought and frost tolerant.  Predictions of frost tolerance varied widely. One source contended that they will tolerate minus 4C, while another said minus 10C (or 25F versus 14F).  Still another source said the shrubs were suited to US zones 8b-11.  As frost isn't an issue in my area of southern California, I can't make any personal assertions as to its winter hardiness.

The shrubs are supposed to flower in spring but mine produced no flowers this year, which is fine with me.  I bought them for their foliage, which I fell in love with at first sight.

I've cut these stems several times to add to floral arrangements (most recently as shown here)


The shrubs will handle full or partial sun.  One of mine gets the former and the other the latter.  The one that receives full sun appears slightly more robust but that may be due to having received more pruning.  There are also slight color differences in foliage color.

The foliage of the plant receiving full sun, shown on the left, is a deeper copper red


Loree of danger garden presents a wrap-up of her favorite plants on the last Friday of the month - you can see her June favorites here.  Earlier this month I introduced 2 other favorites, plants that couldn't have been more different from one another, although the distinction wasn't intentional on my part.  You can find my posts on these 2 plants here and here.

Trifolium repens is shown on the left and Magnolia grandiflora on the right


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

20 comments:

  1. Nice looking shrubs - I'm sure I've seen them for sale here and might well have looked them up at some point because as soon as I saw the name I knew immediately that they would not do well here.
    Both your specimens look good and it just shows how much of a difference sunlight can make. This of course is generally true of any plant with purple foliage. They both really add to the areas in which you have them plants Kris, regardless of colour.

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    1. I didn't realize how much difference there actually was in the color of the foliage until I pasted those 2 photos next to one another, Angie. Congratulations once again on the new grandbaby!

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  2. Beautiful foliage! I wish we could grow more leptospermums further north, but I'm grateful for the few reliably hardy ones we do have.

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    1. The foliage of this Leptospermum is so different from that of those I'd been acquainted with, I was frankly surprised it was part of the same genus. However, I've seen photos of the plant's flowers and In can see the family resemblance there.

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  3. Certainly lives up to its name with that beautiful colour and glow to it!

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    1. Yes, this is one time the name is well-earned!

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  4. Yes that is a beauty. I'm keeping my eyes open for one of my own.

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    1. Thus far, the only place I've seen it has been my local Armstrong.

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  5. It is a beauty - the purple foliage looks absolutely lovely in your setting and work so well with the phormiums!
    A tip with these Australian natives, don't ever prune them hard - they seldom produce any epicormic buds for regrowth: to keep them bushy and in check, tip prune or give them a light annual prune similar to pruning an established formal hedge

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    1. Thanks for the tip, Matt! I've heard that about grevilleas but not expressed as a general guideline. Thus far, the only pruning I've done has involved cutting a few stems to use in vases.

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  6. Your selection of favorite plants for June speaks volumes for a well-balanced garden, Kris :) I didn't know that Leptospermum could be at all frost-hardy - something to keep in mind! These really look lovely in every way!

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    1. It is a wonderful plant, Amy, but how frost resilient is an open question - it always makes me nervous when I see broad differences in predictions like those I found on-line.

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  7. These are lovely and seem to bring their own brightness to the garden, whether the sun is out or not. And honestly here's wishing you some clouds and rain mixed in with all the heat this summer. I doubt anyone would complain!

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    1. There's some tropical moisture moving in this weekend which could conceivably bring rain, although that's more likely to land in the foothills than in my backyard. Yet hope springs eternal...

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  8. Beautiful dark-lvd shrub of moderate size, traits not easy to find. I like Coprosma 'Plum Hussy' for the same attributes but love this lepto's willowy habit.

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    1. I love Coprosma 'Plum Hussey' too - I have several, dispersed throughout the garden.

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  9. That's a gorgeous Leptospermum! I do have L. ‘Dark Shadow’, but have to keep it in a container so as to overwinter it in a warmer place than the garden.

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    1. L. 'Dark Shadows' is beautiful! I wasn't familiar with that one but it reminds me a lot of Agonis flexuosa 'After Dark'. It's height would put me in trouble with the garden nazi up the street, though.

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  10. Gorgeous in association with the phormiums! This reddish-purple color goes so well with golds, greens, and blues in the garden.

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    1. Yes, I bought the Leptospermums and the Phormiums together. It was one of those times it helped to wander around the garden center picking up this and that until a combination came together on my cart.

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