Sunday, December 16, 2007

Emu 'Valentine'

Eremophila maculata v. brevifolia 'Valentine'



Flowering is in progress on my Emu 'Valentine' Bush. Normally, flowering starts in January, and it is in its full glory by Valentine's Day. By now, I'm used to early, late, and unexpected blooms on my plants. This year has been a strange year that way.

The tubular flowers of the Emu Bush are a draw for hummingbirds. Today I saw three hovering around my specimen. Eremophila is drought resistant, and doesn't take much supplemental water. This plant does not like constantly wet soil. It can take a full southern exposure here in Arizona. It is endemic to Australia, and it loves our desert climate.

There are over 200 Eremophila species and almost a thousand cultivars. Their forms, foliage and flowers vary tremendously, and the colors almost endless. 'Valentine' is one of the most popular cultivars in our region and is used extensively in public areas and along roadway medians, as well as in private gardens.
This past January, we had unseasonably warm weather, followed by a sudden, rare three-day hard freeze. That seemed to throw plants into confusion; some had odd growth spurts, cacti bloomed early, late and more or less profusely than normal. The Emu Bush was untouched by the frost but had a late (and profuse) flowering period in February and March, and now, this early show of flowers.

 

16 comments:

MrBrownThumb said...

What a cool plant. I've never see one of these before.

Happy early GTS

kml said...

The color is so pretty - must be great seeing these bright spots of color in the garden!

eaglehawk said...

I love the bright colors. After looking at all your pictures in the past I envy your garden.

Ginni said...

Beautiful shot! What a glorious color! I hope you post more photos of this lovely plant as it blooms more.

Ginni from frigid Illinois

barbara said...

I can see why the hummingbirds are hovering...What kinds do you see. We mostly have the ruby-throated and the common.

genny said...

Wow thats a pretty flower. Happy GTS.

Mine is here...http://mommygen.blogspot.com/2007/12/green-thumb-sunday-flowers_16.html

Mark said...

Hi Aiyana,
I think you can say one thing for certain this year, the weather has been all over the place, lets hope those in Bali finally get something sorted.

Cheers Mark

Garden Wise Guy said...

I appreciate the botanical and cultural info you provide. You not only stimulate the optic nerves but a few neural synapses get a work-out also.

Angie said...

What a beautiful flower! I bet the hummingbirds do love it!

I love coming to your blog as it reminds me that it's warm somewhere!

chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

It is a very interesting plant with a beautiful flower.
I wonder how it would do here?

Chigiy at Gardener’s Anonymous

dilly dalley doolittle said...

That particular cultivar isn't familar to me but the Eremophila's are. Interesting to see them in Arizona and interesting to think of hummingbirds liking them.

Julie said...

This is gorgeous...thank goodness it doesn't need tons of water where you are!

Muum said...

Nice flower, do you have hummingbirds all year 'round, or do they migrate to you when the weather gets cold up here (up north) ?

No Rain said...

Thanks for all the nice comments.
In answer to the questions:
Chigiy, this plant grows in USDA Zones 8b-11
Barbara and Mumm, The hummingbird most common around here is Anna's Hummingbird. It is resident year-round, and may or may not leave for cooler areas in the mountain regions in Arizona or Mexico in July and August.

nikkipolani said...

That image looks like it was taken in the middle of summer and not December!

No Rain said...

nikkipolani,
I answered your question on your GTS post comment section.