In the Garden > Flowering Plants & Shrubs
One of the best garden shrubs is the diosma. It grows as a round tidy plant with masses of pink flowers in late winter and spring. It will grow in all but the most tropical and humid parts of Australia.
Common name: Diosma but also known as confetti bush and breath of heaven.
Botanic name: Coleonema pulchellum (formally known as Coleonema pulchrum).The genus name Coleonema is taken from a Greek term describing the base of the petals. The species name pulchellum means beautiful and small.
Description: The species has pink flowers and tall growth. It will reach around 2m (6'). There are various cultivars available including: 'Compactum' - a dwarf pink flowered form growing to 1m (3'), which is also sold as 'Nanum'; 'Rubrum' - a red flowered diosma (also sold as Red Form); and 'Sunset Gold' - a dwarf golden foliage form growing to 75cm (2'6"). This form has its best colour in summer and autumn when grown in full sun.
In addition a white flowered diosma, Coleonema album, is also available. This plant grows to about 1.5m (4') tall with a spread of about 1.8m (5').
Best climate: Best in warm areas but will grow in most parts of Australia except the tropics. In humid summers it can be affected by fungal problems. In very cold areas such as mountain districts this plant will need a warm, sheltered micro-climate for best growth. It is native to the Cape Province of South Africa.
Best look: Soft hedge or mass planting. The site Don visited in the segment used the dwarf pink diosma as clipped hedges at the front of a commercial nursery.
Plants are widely available all year round at your local nursery. Prices start from $8 for a 15cm (6") pot and $15 for a 20cm (8") pot.
They can also be grown from cuttings. Take soft tip cuttings in late summer and autumn.
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