Firebush (ensure correct name when googling)!

Embothrium coccineum, spring plants, scarlet flowers, favourite plants, garden design

In garden design there are certain plants that do it every time for me: the Chilean firebush Embothrium coccineum has to be one of my favourite plants.  Although not successful in my own garden, due to our alkaline soil conditions (this is a plant that does well in gardens that have acidic or peaty soils), there are some superb specimens dotted around my locality in Wicklow and I also come across them on my sojourns in Kerry (where this one was recently pictured).  I dragged a small potted plant back from the famous Bodnant gardens in Wales one year and was quite disappointed when it didn’t do.

Chilean firebush flower, flower details, planting design, garden design

This is certainly a plant that has its moment though: for much of the year it is understated with dull evergreen leaves and sometimes quite a ragged collection of branches making up the plant – so, when designing your garden, it is best not to place it in a prime position – but then, when in flower, it is a spectacle to behold and certainly lives up to its name.  The brilliant scarlet flowers will last a month or two.

Not really a plant for cold or exposed positions, it does best in the milder parts of Ireland and the UK.

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