Correas for winter colour
CORREAS, sometimes called “Native Fuchsias”, occur naturally from Queensland, through NSW, Victoria, South Australia and on the Bass Strait islands and in Tasmania.
The individual correa flowers are not big, brassy or bold, yet their effect when massed in full flower is wonderful. They have become popular garden plants.
There are approximately 11 species, around 26 subspecies and hundreds of cultivars and hybrids.
Flower colour combinations are shades of pink, red, orange, yellow, green, purple, cream or white. New discoveries continue to be made. Forms range from ground covers to substantial shrubs of 1–3 metres.
Flowers are usually pendant, with the exception of C. decumbens, which has red and green upward-facing, tube-like flowers.
Correas are long-lived, and will flower abundantly if pruned regularly.
Taller species, such as C. Marian’s Marvel make attractive hedge plants.
There are varieties suitable for every aspect - full shade, part shade, full sun, hot and dry or cold and wet, for seaside, inland, clay or sandy soils.
Honeyeaters and parrots are attracted to their nectarbearing flowers. Correas are not invasive. They cross-pollinate readily and can occasionally regenerate in the home garden from seed.
It’s fun to make an educated guess as to the probable parentage of volunteer seedlings.
Such surprises are often worthy of propagating from cuttings to produce more of the same.
For cheery winter colour, correas make showy pot plants. C. Dusky Bells is well-loved favourite. C. Autumn Blaze, C. reflexa ‘Jetty Red’ and C. ‘Jingle Bells’ also do well in tubs. A curiosity is C. bauerlenii [Chef’s Cap Correa]. It has light green petals below darker green flattened sepals which form the ‘cap’. It is listed as ‘vulnerable’ in the wild. For winter colour, with a delightful bonus of honeyeaters flitting among foliage and flowers, plant a few correas!
ALL FROM OUR GARDEN: Correa pulchella “Autumn Blaze”, Correa bauerlenii, Correa reflexa “Jetty Red”.