Zauschneria – The California fuchsia
Zauschneria (syn.Epilobium) are group of drought tolerant plants with large trumpet like flowers. Native to California and surrounding states with Z. californica being one of the more widely grown species. These are deciduous to evergreen perennials, depending on the climate.
Also known as the California fuchsia they provide masses of flowers late in summer to autumn and attract nectar loving birds as well a bees to the garden. If we are to be correct we would call these plants Epilobium canum however they are more widely known as California fuchsia or Zauschneria.
A varied group of plants many with silvery green foliage, however they range from low growing groundcover types such as Zauschneria septentrionale, to small shrubs.
Well suited to a Mediterranean type climate these are a plant that require good drainage and seem to flower more profusely in a dry summer to autumn. The taller growing species and cultivars can be lightly pruned every few years to encourage a bushier, stronger and more compact shape.
Once well established plants can benefit from being cut back hard after flowering has finished in autumn, in cold climates leave pruning until spring. This will promote new basal growth and open up the plant so that this new growth flourishes.
Fertilize with a general purpose slow release fertilizer every 8 weeks from spring to late summer.
Zauschneria (syn.Epilobium) Varieties
Although the botanical name is now Epilobium, it is mainly the named cultivars that are grown in gardens. Look for :
- ‘Western Hills’ – Upright play reaching around 60 – 80 cm depending on conditions. Orange to red flowers.
- ‘Bowmans’ – To around 60 cm in height with orange to red flowers.
- ‘Catalina’ – A suckering shrubby plant that reaches around 60 cm with red flowers.
- ‘Ed Carman’ – Orange to red flowers on a lower growing plant than most.
Zauschneria are available for sale from the following growers
52 Rodd St Canowindra NSW 2804
An online nursery specialising in drought and frost tolerant perennials and fragrant, edible and herbs.
395 Lesters Rd Ascot VIC 3364 - phone (03) 53434303
Specialising in beautiful perennials & bulbs including new releases from Europe & USA. Many hardy, rare & difficult to find ‘drought hardy’ plants, quality vegetable & flower seeds.