Manuka. This is a wonderful very upright wispy evergreen shrub with tiny leaves that turn maroon in winter and masses of white flowers in early summer. Flowers are born on wood from the previous season and are much larger than the foliage. The effect in early summer is a shrub clad in snow. To 8′ tall x 4′ wide in 5 years. Full sun and a protected position, such as against a south facing wall. This form is from the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle where it has thrived for many years. A selection made from high elevation inland New Zealand. Grows very fast w/ light summer water. Excellent fine textured plant. Moderate deer resistance. Cold hardy to a little below 10ºF- it has been damaged but recovered from lower temperatures. Very easy to grow wild looking plant. Drought adapted when established.
Leptospermum cunninghamii ‘Silver Form’
Beautiful species of tea tree with tiny leaves of pure silver. Its been grown for eons in England- native to higher elevations in the Great Dividing Range. Great fine textured shrub for a dry and protected area. To 6′ x 5′ in 5 years one of the most silver evergreen shrubs in our climate. Blooms prolifically in June covering the whole shrub in white stars. Easy to grow in full sun and average, well drained soil. Light, consistent summer water. Will often have random flowers year round as well. Fast growing. Avoid the coldest sites- best in warm, sunny, gardens. Mix with other shrubs- especially yellow or chartreuse foliage which really makes this shrub pop. Listed as tender in some fairly famous publications…which don’t know what they are talking about. We’ve had this shrub planted at our very cold nursery in Wilsonville for more than 15 years….and there it still happily thrives. Moderate deer resistance.
Leptospermum rupestre (Low Form)
Creeping form of Alpine tea tree from the highest mountains of Tasmania. Low evergreen shrub with deep green tiny leaves set densely on the stems. Forms a complete ground cover in time with the ability to inhibit weeds. The new stems are an attractive cinnamon red before switching to gray. In early summer tiny pink buds open to starry white flowers. For several weeks they obscure the foliage. To 1′ tall but usually much lower and spreading to 3′ x 3′ in several years. Full sun and rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer irrigation. Drought adapted when established. Best on warm south or west facing aspects. Avoid exposure to intense subfreezing east wind- in those areas plant it in a protected location. Always handsome ground cover shrub. Amazing at the edge of containers or near boulders as this plant will faithfully follow every contour. Cool.
Rare shrub that is destined to gain popularity. From the highest elevations of the Australian Alps this large evergreen tea tree is beautiful in all of its parts. Known locally as alpine downy tea tree the fuzzy silver small leaves crowd the stems densely. In early summer masses of 1″ white flowers deck the boughs like snow. To 8′ x 8′ quickly it can also be trained as a small tree which highlights its incredible exfoliating trunks. Silver, copper, green and tan are all present after the bark sheds in mid-summer. Full sun and virtually any soil. Totally summer drought tolerant when established. Great hedging candidate. If sheared it becomes immensely dense. And cutting does not mangle the tiny leaves. Moderate deer resistance. So far undamaged at 5ºF. Photo credit: Evan Bean
Wooly tea tree is a cold hardy member of the myrtle family from Tasmania/Australia. The pewter gray small evergreen foliage creates a cloud like outline on billowing shrub. In June 1″ pure white single flowers spangle the boughs like snow. Woody seed capsules follow and persist. To 12′ tall and 4′ wide in 7 years. May be limbed into a small tree. Full sun and virtually any soil. Light summer water though very drought adapted. Excellent background shrub or screen or large informal hedge. Takes well to pruning which will not mangle the tiny foliage and becomes very dense as a result. Good bet where deer are a problem. Cold hardy to about 5ºF. Grows very fast with regular irrigation which is recommended for the first summer to establish. Does not tolerate shade of any kind. When using as a hedge plant about 2′ apart for a fast screen. Prune after flowering and again in autumn. Tasmania.
Leptospermum rupestre ‘Squiggly’
One of the naturally cold hardiest species of tea tree. This form of Alpine tea tree from Tasmania has a distinctly upright habit. Cinnamon red squiggly stems support tiny pewter colored evergreen foliage. In early summer pink buds spangle the stems opening to pure white single flowers. So prolific is the bloom that the plant appears covered in snow. Vigorous growth to 5′ tall and 3′ wide in 6 years. Full sun and virtually any soil. Summer water is tolerated but far from necessary. Takes pruning incredibly well, including shearing and the leaves are so small that they remain unmangled. It quickly forms a dense hedge that is tough, incredibly dense and drought and cold hardy. Strongly deer resistant. Excellent shrub or hedge for rural areas. It tolerates a wide variety of soils and aspects. Leaves are aromatic when bruised. You achieve a much shapelier plant with even a minimal amount of tip pruning. otherwise it has a very wild habit. It has been undamaged by cold to 0ºF. Drought adapted. Tasmania. Click on the green link below for a video of ‘Squiggly’ in full bloom. Excellent shrub with a number of uses.
Xera Plants Introduction.