Rondeletia

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Rondeletia

Once a common garden plant, Rondeletia amoena is rarely seen nowadays. Peter Valder thinks that is a pity, because this hardy, Central American native produces a wonderful display of salmon-pink flowers every spring.

Plant details

Common name: Rondeletia

Botanic name: Rondeletia amoena

The genus name, Rondeletia, commemorates Guillaume Rondelet, a 16th century French naturalist. The species name, amoena, is from the Latin meaning ‘lovely’.

Description

An evergreen shrub or small tree to around 3m (10′) tall. It has dense, glossy foliage. In spring it produces clusters of deep salmon-pink, perfumed flowers.

Best climate

Rondeletias grow best in warm, frost-free areas of Australia.

Uses

flowering specimen plant hedge or screen bird and butterfly attracting plant hardy shrub for coastal gardens once planted with Viburnum tinus in Federation gardens

Good points

abundant flowers flowers are lightly perfumed long flowering dense evergreen foliage very hardy

Downside

None really. Rondeletias aren’t usually troubled by pests and diseases.

Care

Rondeletias like a warm, sunny position in a frost-free area. They need adequate moisture during the warmer months, and slightly acid, well-drained soil. After flowering they can be pruned to maintain the desired size and shape. Take flowered shoots back to within a few nodes of the past year’s growth.

Getting started

Rondeletia amoena is available from nurseries, or it can be grown from semi-hardwood cuttings taken in late October to November.