Plants

Beaufortia aestiva – stunning summer flowers

 

Compact rounded shrub to 1.5m x 1.5m; stunning red bottlebrush flower in summer; small, strong green, shiny leaves. Very hardy. Full sun or some shade. Great addition to a shrubbery or possible feature plant in a small garden.

Beaufortia aestiva originates in the Kalbarri/Geraldton area and does very well here in Mandurah. A few other beaufortias sometimes turn up in nurseries; I prefer Beaufortia aestiva because it is compact, typically growing to between 1 to 1.5m tall, and prunes well, meaning it can be kept in a nice rounded shape. This makes it ideal for the suburban garden. Other species in the genus get a bit bigger and will require more pruning in the suburban setting.

The shrub flowers throughout the summer and is very popular with the bees. Out of flowering season it’s compact form and strong green foliage make it a pleasing contribution to the shrubbery.

It’s reasonably fast growing, the one in the pictures is about 2 years old. I’ve noticed that occasionally a limb will die off for no apparent reason. These can be cut out and are quickly replaced by new growth. As ever, a good prune after flowering helps with a compact, well shaped shrub and leads to more prolific flowering next year.

It is very hardy and sits quite happily over the summer in full sun and with minimal watering.

Overall this is a fabulous addition to a mixed shrubbery. Its stunning red bottlebrush flowers are a welcome sight in the heat of the summer and it is a haven for native fauna. Highly recommended.

 

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