We learn something new every week, though whether the name of this charming little shrub embeds in the memory banks remains to be seen. It doesn’t seem to have a common name and Guichenotia does not trip off the tongue easily, let alone ledifolia.
But what a little pet this Western Australian shrub is. It has rangy growth and evergreen foliage somewhat like a sparse, grey-toned rosemary (without the aromatic properties). The charming, nodding bells are mauve with little dark centres like a quilted pin cushion.
As with a fair number of Australian native plants, it tolerates a wide temperature range but it needs very good drainage and favours a somewhat drier climate than we have. This specimen is in a raised bed in full sun. It has never exactly romped away to reach its promised 100cm in height, instead arching out and staying low. It is not rare. Nor is it endangered in the wild. It is just one of those lesser known gems that adds a quiet charm to its corner of the garden gently flowering for much of the year. It is the winter flowering now, however, that we value the most.
First published in the Waikato Times and reprinted here with their permission.