Plant Highlight: Correa ‘Ivory Bells’
Correa is an Australian genus in the Rutaceae, or Rue Family. This is the same family to which citrus belong. The correas are small to medium-size evergreen shrubs, many with leaves which are hairy or felted on the lower surface. Most species flower during the winter months, and the flowers have a tubular corolla composed of 4 fused petals, usually separating and flaring at the tips.
Correa ‘Ivory Bells’ is a hybrid of garden origin which was originally produced in San Francisco. It is believed to be a cross between Correa alba and C. backhousiana. It is a small shrub attaining a height of about 4 to 5 feet (1½ m), with inch-long (25 cm) oval deep-green leaves which are paler and felted on the underside. The bell-like pendent flowers are creamy white and about ¾ inch (18 cm) long. It prefers well-drained soils and benefits from a little shade in hotter areas. Though it requires occasional watering in the summer, it is quite drought-tolerant once established, and is frost-tolerant as well.