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Lophomyrtus x ralphii 'Red Dragon', photo courtesy of Andrea Jones/Garden Exposures Photo Library
Lophomyrtus x ralphii 'Red Dragon', photo courtesy of Andrea Jones/Garden Exposures Photo Library

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Zone
Zones 8, 9, 14-24
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Lophomyrtus x ralphii

Myrtaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs

The genus Lophomyrtus contains just two species, bothnative to New Zealand. Thishybrid between the two grows6–15 ft. tall and 5–8 ft. wide,with attractive, dark greenleaves that are broadly oval, upto 1 in. long, and held in pairsalong the stems. Small whitesummer flowers resemble those of closely related myrtle (Myrtus communis) and are followed by reddish black berries. Can be pruned into a hedge or trained as a small tree. Stems of manyforms are popular in the cut-flower trade. Colored-leaf formsshow more pronounced colorin full sun.

Forms selected for their dense growth habit include ‘Kathryn’, to 6–8 ft. tall and wide, with glossy, puckered maroon leaves; ‘Lilliput’, just 2–3 ft. high and wide, with bronzy leaves; ‘Red Dragon’, 6 ft. high and 3 ft. wide, with reddish pink leaves that deepen to dark red in coolweather; and ‘Sundae’, to 8–12 ft. tall and 4–8 ft. wide, withglossy, puckered, burgundy-flushed green leaves edged increamy yellow.

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