Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Desert Loving Emu Bush

Eremophila maculata aurea

There are over 200 plants in the Eremophila genus, all native to Australia. In Arizona, several species of Eremophila are found in many gardens, most notably Eremophila maculata var. brevifolia and E. maculata ‘Aurea’ or Yellow Emu Bush.

Eremophila means desert loving, and these plants certainly do love our climate. The Yellow Emu starts blooming in fall, and continues through spring with intermittent flowering into early summer. They are drought resistant, and the Yellow Emu can grow as large as five feet high and wide. The tubular flowers attract all sorts of insects as well as hummingbirds.

Many folks believe that the Emu bush got its name because the Emu bird eats the hard fruits, but that is not true. The Emu bird does consume fruits from some Eremophila species, but the Emu bushes we are familiar with in Arizona nurseries are not those species.

The various species and cultivars available come in five flower colors—red, yellow, blue, pink, and bicolor—making this one of the most popular landscape plants in this region. The yellow and red Emu bushes are the most common, but another one that is gaining in popularity is E. racemosa, or Easter Egg Bush. Its flowers change as they mature, from yellow, to orange and then to pink and purple. It is quite a sight—all those colors on one bush. I plan to acquire the E. racemosa next spring to add to the red and yellow varieties already in my garden.


kate said...

I love the idea of the flowers of the E. racemosa changing colours as they mature. The flowers are beautiful and they sound like perfect plants for your climate!

Endment said...

You are introducing me to so many new plants thank you

No Rain said...

Yes, they are perfect here. The only problem with many Australian plants here is that they can become invasive if left to their own devices. I guess the weather is just too good.
Thanks for visiting. I'm glad you find my blog interesting. Hope you continue to visit.

Julie said...

Oh...I can't wait to see the new one that changes colors with age...by the way, I saw the cactus that had that purple/magenta bloom that resembles a beavertail, but is smooth...sur eenough, it is smooth on the pads. It actually has more blooms about to open...but there was no plant marker, so I will have to try and get over during hours when someone is there (during my work hours)...but I am very curious and want to find out for you! I want you to have one also if it is something rare!!!