Plant Collector: Anopterus glandulosa

 

Anopterus glandulosa - a slow growing treasure

Anopterus glandulosa - a slow growing treasure

It did take a long time for our Anopterus glandulosa to do much other than just sit and put up a few racemes of flowers each spring but eventually it grew a little and after a decade (possibly more than a decade, in fact) it just gets better every year. Its flowers look like lily-of-the-valley but this is an evergreen shrub from Tasmania. The literature tells me it can make a small tree but at the rate it is growing, that might be when our grandchildren (who have yet to make an appearance) are adults. I can see why it is rated as rare because this is not a quick turn-over shrub for the trade so if you ever see it offered for sale, grab it because you may be looking a long time to find it again. The leaves are long, leathery, shiny dark green with saw-toothed edges. Even without its flowers, it is a tidy little evergreen shrub which keeps good form without needing pruning and then for many weeks in spring, it is adorned with its racemes of pink buds opening to white flowers.

 

There are apparently only two species of anopterus and the other member of the family must be of negligible merit because most of the references only record glandulosa. They are closely related to escallonias which readers may know for a hedging option. If you find somebody with an anopterus, you may be able to raise it successfully from seed.