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Correa

Australian Fuchsia
Rutaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs

These Australian natives may resemble fuchsia in their flower form, but in all other ways they are far from fuchsialike. Plants range from low growing to tall, are usually dense and spreading. Roundish, 1-in. leaves, densely felted underneath; gray or gray-green color contrasts subtly with other grays, distinctly with dark greens. All are valued for their long flowering season, usually late fall into spring. Small (1/2–3/4-in.) flowers hang from branches like little bells; they are individually handsome but not showy.

Need fast drainage; do well in poor, rocky soil. Easy to kill with kindness (overwatering, overfertilizing). Should not get reflected heat from wall or pavement. Use as a groundcover on banks or slopes. Attractive in large pots placed where flowers can be enjoyed close up.

Correa backhouseana (photo courtesy of Trevor Sims/Garden World Images)
Correa backhouseana (photo courtesy of Trevor Sims/Garden World Images)

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Correa backhouseana

Upright and rather sprawling growth to 4–5 ft. tall and wide. Pale cream or yellow to chartreuse flowers. More successful in Southern California than C. pulchella. Often sold as C. magnifica.

Correa pulchella (photo courtesy of Andrea Gómez Romero)
Correa pulchella (photo courtesy of Andrea Gómez Romero)

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Correa pulchella

Grows to 2–2 1/2 ft. tall, spreading as wide as 8 ft. Leaves are green above, gray-green below; flower color ranges from light pink to reddish orange. This is the most widely grown correa in Northern California. ‘Mission Bells’ has deep pink to red flowers; ‘Orange Flame’ has somewhat smaller orange blossoms. ‘Pink Eyre’ is compact, 2–3 ft. tall and wide, with showy rose-pink blooms nearly year-round. ‘Pink Flamingo’ is similar, with salmon-pink blooms.

Correa ‘Dusky Bells’ (‘Carmine Bells’)

Low growing (2–2 1/2 ft.), spreading as wide as 8 ft. Deep red flowers.

Correa ‘Ivory Bells’

Low growing (2–2 1/2 ft.), spreading as wide as 8 ft. Creamy white flowers.

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