Correas in your New England winter garden

Correa baeuerlenii: The Chef’s Cap Correa has lime green flowers with the appearance of a chef’s cap. It flowers throughout the year.

Correa baeuerlenii: The Chef’s Cap Correa has lime green flowers with the appearance of a chef’s cap. It flowers throughout the year.

The correas are members of the Rutaceae family in common with the boronias and citrus. They occur only in Australia and at present there are 11 species plus many cultivars.

Most correas range in size from ground covers to medium shrubs. Their flowers are tubular and are rich in nectar. They are ideal plants to attract honeyeaters to the garden.

Correa’s flowering period usually extends from late summer through winter. They will brighten the garden during the cooler months when flowers are in short supply. Flowers come in a wide range of colours including white, cream, green, pink and red.

Correas are sometimes known as native fuchsias because in some eyes, their flowers have a superficial resemblance to the blooms of these exotic shrubs. 

In local gardens, correas have proven to be hardy, free-flowering, frost and drought resistant as well as having low water requirements once established. They are low maintenance plants only requiring occasional pruning to maintain foliage density and bounteous blooming.

Correas are hardy, free-flowering and bird-attracting, and certainly worth a place in the garden.

Most correas will take kindle to cultivation in containers. They are also some of the easiest plants to propagate from cuttings.

The varieties that are described are all surviving and thriving in local gardens.

Correa reflexa has a wide distribution and probably, in the future, will be split into a number of new species. This small to medium shrub is found in a number of locations in the Northern Tablelands. This local form develops into a shrub about one metre tall.

The leaves are four centimetres long, dull green and covered with oil dots. The flowers are tubular also about four centimetres long, usually green and develop between pairs of leaves. In the Torrington area, there is a form with red flowers. Both this form and the “conventional form” often grow together.

Correa decumbens is a spreading ground cover with dark green, shiny leaves and tubular red and green flowers. Because of its prostrate growth habit, the flowers are held upright on the stems. Flowering occurs in spring and summer.

This is unusual because most correas bloom in the cooler months. Tip pruning will increase foliage density.

Correa decumbens would be an ideal addition to a native cottage garden or rockery.

The species comes from South Australia, the home of many interesting correas.

Correa Autumn Blaze is a naturally occurring form of Correa pulchella from Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia. “Autumn Blaze” is a low-growing shrub with glossy leaves.

The flowers are an outstanding feature. They are typically tubular, bright orange and cover plants during autumn and winter. This is a beautiful correa and is equally at home in the garden or container.

Correa baeuerlenii, the Chef’s Cap Correa, is a tall shrub that will reach a height between one and two metres. Glossy dark green leaves complement the unusual tubular flowers. They are lime green with a flanged base, giving the flower the appearance of a chef’s cap. Flowers are usually produced throughout the year.

Correas are hardy, free-flowering and bird-attracting, and certainly worth a place in the garden.

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