Eremophila (emu bush)

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MikeHardman

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Eremophila (emu bush)
« on: November 13, 2011, 03:45:15 PM »
I have only just started researching this genus of Australian shrubs, and amongst the 215 species I'm finding a wealth of different habits and flower colour and form. Does anybody have experience of growing these shrubs? For med. gardens, they seem too good to miss!

This is a useful introduction.
And http://eremophilas.com
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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John J

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 08:04:31 AM »
Mike, in my experience of Eremophila they live up to their name, which translates as Desert lover. Also, I believe in Australia they call them Poverty plant as they prefer impoverished soil. I can vouch for that as they flourish in the rubbish soil on top of the 2m high retaining wall in my daughter's garden while the ones in my flat area struggle in good soil. The thing they seem to need most is good drainage. I think the ones I have are Eremophila maculata but I wouldn't be 100% sure.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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anita

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2011, 01:47:59 PM »
Hi, I've grown a number of Eremophilia species. They really do prefer quite dry climates so in Mediterraenean regions with relatively high levels of winter rainfall (by this I'm thinking of Adelaide's 24 in of annual rainfall which falls from autumn through to early spring) they need exceptionally good drainage or they succumb to wet feet. E. maculata, in my experience, tolerates these sorts of conditions relatively well. As a general rule the grey foliaged species will only succeed in dry climates and sandy soils. Some of the members of the Australian Plant Society have extended the range of some of these gorgeous desert lovers by grafting them onto rootstocks of E maculata. Amendment here somehow some text got lost in uploading. I switched across to talking about the grafting of Grevileas where some species of prostrate Grevilleas are grafted onto the tree scaled G robusta. Some of the prostrate species such as G gaudi chaudi grafted on to three foot tall G robusta standards make spectacular and bird attracting weeping shrubs.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2011, 01:38:52 PM by anita »
Dry mediterranean climate, avg annual rainfall 530mm, little or no frost. Winter minimum 1C, summer max 45C

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MikeHardman

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2011, 07:29:31 AM »
Thank you John and Anita; very useful.
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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anita

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2011, 02:03:22 PM »
Mike, I had some problems cuuting and pasting text from my Ipad and uploading to the forum which resulted in some garbling of text above. I switched from talking of grafting Eremophilas to grafting Grevilleas but somehow lost linking text. For more information on eremophilas see the following link http://anpsa.org.au/APOL22/jun01-2.html.
The grafting of eremophilas and grevilleas is tricky and generally only pursued by specialists and very gifted and commited amateurs however their efforts are bringing more outstanding plants into cultvation.
Anita
Dry mediterranean climate, avg annual rainfall 530mm, little or no frost. Winter minimum 1C, summer max 45C

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John J

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 07:52:50 PM »
I realise that it is over a year since I last posted about Eremophila and the comparison between one in my garden and one in my daughter's. I remembered it today when delivering my grandson home from school and saw the plant in their garden. I took a photo and immediately on returning home took one of my plant. These plants are both of the same vintage, mine has been grown (ha ha) in good, fertile soil while hers is planted on top of a 2m high retaining wall backfilled with every kind of rubbish imaginable so that calling it soil would be a compliment. The only thing it has going for it is excellent drainage.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

Trevor Australis

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 10:35:53 PM »
Eremophila are also called Emu Bush which probably tells you nothing. Emu's are extremely tough birds (their meat too). They can live in almost pure desert just like the plants. I cannot grow them here even tho I have pretty ordinary soil. It is just too wet and the atmosphere too damp. There are a number in 'The Garden of Discovery' created by our local MGS branch and a good collection in the Barossa Bush Garden which was on one of the AGM tours. I am trying to get some seeds from the Bush Garden to send to the seedbank. tn
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

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oron peri

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 11:47:41 PM »
I think the ones I have are Eremophila maculata but I wouldn't be 100% sure.

John you are right, your plant is Eremophila maculata 'Aurea' which is one of the several forms/cultivars of this species.
The flowers of the species are pinkish/ornage in color spotted with deeper color.
Garden Designer, Bulb man, Botanical tours guide.
Living and gardening in Tivon, Lower Galilee region, North Israel.
Min temp 5c Max 42c, around 450mm rain.

Trevor Australis

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2013, 12:27:30 AM »
There is a massive ref book about Eremophila too. It was published by Rosenberg (Sydney) about 8 yrs ago. I think if you went to bookfinder.com and put Eremophila in the title box it would come up with the authors and sources for secondhand copies. tn
M Land. Arch., B. Sp. Ed. Teacher, traveller and usually climate compatible.

Alice

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2013, 01:31:31 AM »
Is yours the moth-eaten looking specimen, John?
Amateur gardener who has gardened in north London and now gardens part of the year on the Cycladic island of Paros. Conditions: coastal, windy, annual rainfall 350mm, temp 0-35 degrees C.

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John J

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2013, 05:41:28 AM »
I'm afraid so, Alice. As Trevor points out the soil where it is is probably too wet and damp for it, although most other plants wouldn't think so!
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

Joanna Savage

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2013, 08:26:01 AM »
In the late fifties and sixties in south western Queensland about 300 miles from Brisbane, so called 'scrub clearing ' was all the rage. Down would come aged Eucalypts and other attractive isolated species such as wilga and myall. It is unbearable to think of it now. However, nature retaliated with mass germination of an Eremophila, probably assisted by the fire which burnt the fallen timber. This Eremophila was also known as Sandalwood. It was regarded as a terrible problem in the attempt to establish pasture species such as Cenchrus, buffel grass. It would take several years to control the 'sandalwood', and it had to be watched for ever after. I often wonder what  the state of that land is now.

PS Maybe Trevor knows the origin of the common name sandalwood. Perhaps it reflects a colonial longing for something missing in a new harsh climate.

Joanna Savage

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2013, 09:07:52 AM »
Re Anita's comments about grafting, perhaps this should be in a grafting thread.

The strangest grafting I have heard about was the attempt to graft citrus i.e.oranges, to the Australian native Wilga, Geijera parviflora as rootstock. The idea was to extend the commercial production areas of citrus around Mildura. It is hard to guess what they might have in common, apart from both being Rutaceae. Unfortunately I did not ever hear of the long term results.

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Alisdair

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2013, 12:35:50 PM »
John, It's really instructive to see the difference between those two plants!
As Trevor says, Barossa Bush Garden had a splendid array of eremophilas - a whole demonstration garden filled with them. The one in the picture, flowering rather later or for longer than many of the others, was this hybrid between Eremophila maculata and E. brevifolia:
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Alice

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Re: Eremophila (emu bush)
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2013, 12:43:01 PM »
Tough plants for tough conditions. They sound ideal and are attractive too.
Does anyone know if Eremophila is invasive in the Mediterranean?
Amateur gardener who has gardened in north London and now gardens part of the year on the Cycladic island of Paros. Conditions: coastal, windy, annual rainfall 350mm, temp 0-35 degrees C.