Koala Blooms

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NEW AUSTRALIAN PLANTS FOR CALIFORNIA GARDENS

Want to see Koala Blooms plants in a garden setting? Visit the Australian Gardens at the Arboretum. While you're there visit our other gardens.

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The Koala Blooms plant introduction program is a joint venture between the Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz, nursery growers here in California and growers in Australia.

Plants are initially imported to the Arboretum from Australia and are trialed in the garden. Selections are made and these plants undergo trials by the wholesale nurseries participating in the program.  In this collaborative effort, many impressive Australian plants are evaluated for their beauty, durability in landscape situations and sturdiness with regards to drought, weather extremes and variations in soil types.  Out of this trialing process new plants are selected and offered for sale to the public.

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When you purchase a Koala Blooms plant, a portion of the profit comes back to the Arboretum to help support our gardens.  Another portion of the profits go back to the growers in Australia who selected or developed the plants originally.  

You can purchase Koala Blooms plants at:
Norries Gifts at the Arboretum or by contacting the Helen Englesberg at the Arboretum, email: hpix @ ucsc.edu, phone: 831-427-2998.

Sierra Azul Nursery in Watsonville.

Ask for them at your local retail nursery

big-bird grevillea photoOur wholesale nursery partners and growers participating in this program are:
Astone's Protea
Crescent Hill Nursery
Gondwanaflora
Monterey Bay Nursery
Protea USA
Rosendale Nursery/Sierra Azul
San Marcos Growers
Soquel Nursery Growers
Suncrest Nursery
 



KOALA BLOOMS: SOME NEW RELEASES FOR 2013

This is a striking Banksia with large showy flowering cones and dark green needlelike leaves. Great cut flower. If you apply fertilizer or soil amendments, use those with little or no phosphorous.
Banksia ericifolia 'Fireworks'
banksia ericifolia photo Plant Family: Proteaceae
Type of Plant: Large evergreen shrub
Size: 8 ft tall X 6 ft wide
Exposure: Full sun
Flower: Golden cones with red styles
Bloom time: Winter through summer
Irrigation requirements: Drought tolerant once established
Soil Type: Good drainage
Winter Hardiness: Frost tolerant
Uses: Specimen plant

Calothamus gracilis 'Spring Torch"

spring-torch Plant Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtles)
Type of Plant: Evergreen dwarf shrub
Size: 2 ft tall X 3 ft wide
Exposure: Sun or shade
Flower: Brushy red flowers
Bloom time: Year round
Irrigation requirements: Drought tolerant once established
Soil Type: Good drainage
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 degrees F
Uses: Accent in garden

The small evergreen shrubs have needle like foliage and showy red new growth. Brushy red flowers. Drought tolerant once established. It is a recent Koala Blooms introduction.

Dampiera trigona 'Purple Wire'

purple-wire Plant Family: Goodeniaceae
Type of Plant: Evergreen perennial
Size: 2 ft tall X 2 ft wide
Exposure: Full sun
Flower: Blue violet
Bloom time: Spring and summer
Irrigation requirements: Medium water needs
Soil Type: Good drainage
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 degrees F
Uses: Accent in garden

A dwarf tufting slender perennial to 2 feet tall with bright green angular wiry stems and narrow lance shaped leaves. The blue-violet flowers, nearly 1 inch wide with yellow centers, are held singly or in pairs on long peduncles at the stem tips from spring through summer. Plant in full to part sun in a reasonably well-draining soil and irrigate regularly to occasionally.

This is a dramatic and unusual specimen plant. Flower wands extend up 8 or 9 feet from the ground. If you apply fertilizer or soil amendments, use those with little or no phosphorous.
Grevillea petrophiloides 'Big Bird'
big bird photo Plant Family: Proteaceae
Type of Plant: Evergreen shrub
Size: 4 ft tall X 6 ft wide
Exposure: Full sun
Flower: Violet pink "bottlebrush" with blue pollen on slender wands
Bloom time: Fall through spring
Irrigation requirements: Drought tolerant once established.
Soil Type: Good drainage
Winter Hardiness: Upper 20°, low 30°
Uses: Specimen plant

  • Other new releases include:
  • Dampiera purpurea 'Royal Ruffle'
  • Dampiera trigona

PREVIOUSLY RELEASED KOALA BLOOMS PLANTS

The unusual leaves of this plant will grab your attention. The triangular leaves are dark bronze nearly black with chartreuse margins. The large flowers are pale orange red when young and mature to a deep red. This shrub has a creeping habit.
Brachysema praemorsa 'Bronze Butterfly'
bronze butterfly photo Plant Family: Fabaceae (pea family)
Type of Plant: Small evergreen shrub
Size: 1-2 ft tall X spreading to 4 ft
Exposure: Full sun along the coast, shade inland
Flower: Red
Bloom time: Late fall through spring with sporadic bloom year round
Irrigation requirements: Regular water
Soil Type: Average to good drainage
Winter Hardiness: mid 20°F
Uses: Ground cover, specimen plant
This plant flowers profusely and is attractive to pollinators. It is an attractive plant that is extremely drought tolerant, deer resistant and tough. It can be pruned to keep the size down.
Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid'
cane's hybrid photo Plant Family: Myrtaceae
Type of Plant: Large evergreen shrub
Size: 10 ft tall and 15 ft wide
Exposure: Full sun
Flower: Light pink bottlebrush type
Bloom time: Spring and summer
Irrigation requirements: Drought tolerant once established
Soil Type: Will grow in poor soils
Winter Hardiness: 15°- 20° F
Uses: Screen, windbreak, hedge
This little showy shrub has aromatic foliage and during its long bloom time, it is full of small 5 petaled flowers that start out being white and then darken to rose pink as they age.
Chamelaucium ciliatum 'Scaddan'
scadden photo Plant Family: Myrtaceae
Type of Plant: Small shrub
Size: 2-3 ft tall X 3-4 ft wide
Exposure: Full sun
Flower: White
Bloom time: Year round with heaviest bloom time in winter
Irrigation requirements: Drought tolerant once established
Soil Type: Good drainage
Winter Hardiness: 20-25°F
Uses: Specimen plant
The dark green oval leaves of this Correa contrast well with its showy rosy pink tubular flowers. This is a good plant selection for growing under oak trees.
Correa pulchella 'Pink Eyre'
pink eyre photo Plant Family: Rutaceae (citrus)
Type of Plant: Compact evergreen shrub
Size: 3 ft tall X 3 ft wide
Exposure: Partial sun/dappled shade
Flower: Pink bells
Bloom time: Fall through springtime
Irrigation requirements: Drought tolerant once established
Soil Type: Average to good drainage
Winter Hardiness: 20-25°F
Uses: Mixed flower border, woodland garden, single specimen, container
This is a hybrid correa made by Ray Collett, the founding director of the Arboretum. It is a cross between Correa pulchella and Correa reflexa. It grows very slowly and is often found in full bloom with its pendant vibrant bells in time for Halloween!
Correa 'Ray's Tangerine'
ray's tangerine photo Plant Family: Rutaceae (citrus)
Type of Plant: Small evergreen shrub
Size: 3 ft tall X 3 ft wide
Exposure: Partial sun/dappled shade
Flower: orange
Bloom time: Fall through winter
Irrigation requirements: Does best with regular deep watering during summer
Soil Type: Good drainage
Winter Hardiness: 20-25°F
Uses: Mixed flower border, woodland garden, single specimen, container
Shiny deep green oval leaves contrast well with the numerous dangling blooms of this correa.
Correa reflexa 'Kangaroo Island'
kangaroo island photo Plant Family: Rutaceae (citrus)
Type of Plant: Small evergreen shrub
Size: 3-4 ft tall X 3-4 ft wide
Exposure: Partial sun/dappled shade
Flower: lipstick red tubular with yellow tips
Bloom time: Fall through spring
Irrigation requirements: Does best with regular deep watering during summer
Soil Type: Good drainage
Winter Hardiness: 20-25°F
Uses: Mixed flower border, woodland garden, single specimen, container
One of our most popular introductions, this grevillea makes a tough drought tolerant groundcover with a long bloom time. If you apply fertilizer or soil amendments, use those with little or no phosphorous.
Grevillea lanigera 'Coastal Gem'
coastal gem photo Plant Family: Proteaceae
Type of Plant: Evergreen ground cover
Size: 1 ft tall X 4-5 ft wide
Exposure: Full sun
Flower: Profuse rosy red and cream spider-like
Bloom time: Early fall to spring
Irrigation requirements: Drought tolerant once established
Soil Type: Good drainage, neutral to slightly acidic
Winter Hardiness: 20°F
Uses: Rock garden, border, groundcover, container
Spectacular 2 inch long orange-red colored flowers with a lime green spot. Attractive to nectar feeding birds. Foliage may suffer damage at low temperatures.
Kennedia beckxiana 'Flamboyant'
flamboyant photo Plant Family: Fabaceae
Type of Plant: Evergreen vine
Size: 8-10 ft tall and wide
Exposure: Sun or shade
Flower: Brick red pea type
Bloom time: Early spring to early summer
Irrigation requirements: Drought tolerant once established
Soil Type: Good drainage
Winter Hardiness: 20-25°F
Uses: Specimen plant, fence line or groundcover
This is a bright little shrub with small dark green leaves and vibrant magenta flowers with dark purple centers.
Tetratheca 'Amethyst Eyes'
amethyst eyes photo Plant Family: Elaeocarpaceae
Type of Plant: Small evergreen perennial
Size: 1 ft tall X 1-2 ft wide
Exposure: Light shade, partial sun
Flower: Magenta
Bloom time: Winter through spring
Irrigation requirements: Drought tolerant once established but best with some summer water
Soil Type: Good drainage
Winter Hardiness: 25°F
Uses: Specimen plant, good in containers

  • Other Koala Blooms Introductions include:
  • Aphanopetalum resinosum 'Gossamer Wings'
  • Banksia spinulosa 'Schnapper Point'
  • Bauera rubioides 'Kuranga Pink'
  • Boronia 'Carousel'
  • Boronia clavata 'Heather Wand'
  • Boronia crenulata 'Rosy Splendor'
  • Boronia megastigma 'Jack Maguire's Red'
  • Chamelaucium ciliatum 'Scaddan'
  • Chorizema 'Bush Flame'
  • Chrysocephalum 'Silver & Gold'
  • Correa baeuerlenii 'Lemon Cap'
  • Correa glabra 'Coliban River'
  • Correa pulchella 'Pink Flamingo'
  • Correa reflexa 'Carpenter Rocks'
  • Crowea exalata 'Morning Light'
  • Crowea exalata 'Southern Stars'
  • Crowea 'Festival'
  • Darwinia citriodora 'Seaspray'
  • Grevillea 'Cherry Royal'
  • Grevillea nudiflora 'Medusa'
  • Grevillea 'Poorinda Signet'
  • Grevillea synapheae 'Picasso'
  • Hakea salicifolia 'Gold Medal'
  • Hypocalymma angustifolia 'Powder Puff'
  • Kennedia beckxiana 'Flamboyant'
  • Philotheca myoporoides 'Galaxy'
  • Prostanthera baxteri 'Lavender Moon'
  • Prostanthera 'Poorinda Bride'
  • Pultenea pedunculata 'Grampians Gold'
  • Pultenaea villosa 'Butterscotch'
  • Thomasia grandiflora 'Mt Lesueur'
  • Thomasia solanacea 'Velvet Star'
  • Verticordia plumosa 'Pink Lace'