Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Alyogyne Huegelii ‘Santa Cruz’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Alyogyne huegelii 'Santa Cruz' (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Alyogyne huegelii ‘Santa Cruz’ (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Summer to early early winter

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 2m

Eventual Spread: 2m

Hardiness: 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Malvaceae

Alyogyne huegelii ‘Santa Cruz’ is an evergreen shrub with a domed habit. Its bright green leaves are deply lobed with irregular margins, up to 7cm long and 10cm broad. Its lilac flowers are similar to those of Hibiscus, have five petals and are up to 12cm across. Its fruit.

Alyogyne huegelii 'Santa Cruz' Flower (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Alyogyne huegelii ‘Santa Cruz’ Flower (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Alyogyne huegelii ‘Santa Cruz’, commonly known as Lilac Hibiscus, Purple Hibiscus or Blue Hibiscus, is native to the coastal regions of south west Australia. In its native habitat it grows in sandy/ gravelly soils.

The etymological root of the binomial name Alyogyne is derived from the Greek alytos meaning ‘undivided’ and gyne meaning ‘woman’. Huegelii is named after Charles Von Hugel (1795 – 1870), an Austrian noble, botanist and explorer.

The landscape architect may find Alyogyne huegelii ‘Santa Cruz’ useful as a free flowering evergreen shrub. Once established this shrub is drought tolerant.

Ecologically, Alyogyne huegelii ‘Santa Cruz’ flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Alyogyne huegelii 'Santa Cruz' Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Alyogyne huegelii ‘Santa Cruz’ Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Alyogyne huegelii ‘Santa Cruz’ prefers moist, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will tolerate poor soils. It will not tolerate wet soils.

Alyogyne huegelii ‘Santa Cruz’ requires little maintenance. It may be pruned quite hard after flowering to promote a tidy compact habit.

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