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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
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Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Lophomyrtus x ralphii

Myrtaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs

The genus Lophomyrtus contains just two species, both native to New Zealand. This hybrid between the two grows to 6–15 ft. tall and 5–8 ft. wide, with attractive, dark green leaves that are broadly oval, up to 1 in. long, and held in pairs along the stems. Small white summer 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 many forms are popular in the cut-flower trade. Colored-leaf forms show more pronounced color in 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 cool weather; and ‘Sundae’, to 8–12 ft. tall and 4–8 ft. wide, with glossy, puckered, burgundy-flushed green leaves edged in creamy yellow.

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