Correa: Australian Fuchsia
Los Osos Valley, in the Central Coast of California (where our nursery is located) enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Simply put, this means we have dry warm summers and mild, moist winters. There are five regions in the world that share this type of climate: Southwest and southern Australia, Central Chile, countries in the Mediterranean basin, the Western Cape of South Africa and Coastal California from San Diego to Cape Mendocino. Because our location provides ideal growing conditions, we are able to carry many plants that are native to California but also those that are native to Australia. Correa is one such plant.
Correa is named for the Portuguese botanist Jose Correia de Serra, also known as Abbe Correa. This hardy plant was first discovered and recorded in 1770 by Joseph Banks on an expedition to Botany Bay in Australia. Correa is in the family Rutaceae, along with oranges and lemons, making it more closely related to Choysia and Skimmia than to a true Fuchsia. The common name “Australian Fuchsia” is due to the dangling, tubular fuchsia-like flowers. There are eleven species of Correa, all endemic to Australia, three of which we are currently growing: Correa pulchella ‘Carmine Bells’ grows 2-2.5 ft. tall by 8 ft. wide with deep red flowers. Correa pulchella ‘Pink Flamingo’ grows 2-3 ft. tall by 2-3 ft. wide with salmon-pink flowers. From the species Correa reflexa, we carry ‘Carpenters Rocks’ which grows 3-4 ft. tall by 2-3 ft. wide with large red flowers tipped in cream.
Most Correa have a prolonged winter flowering period, from October through April. They are an ideal choice for the landscape because they are in full bloom when many other perennials are in their dormant period. They thrive in calcareous chalky, well-drained soil in full sun or part shade, with minimal water needs. It is uncommon for them to have problems with disease. They are hardy to frost and drought, and attract birds both for nectar and nesting habitat. Correas are appealing to many avid gardeners, as they are easy to propagate and thrive in most landscapes. We are selling Correa in one gallon containers. Give us a call, ‘Like’ us on Facebook, or visit our website at www.clearwatercolor.com to see photos and get information on these and other beautiful plants we grow.