Correa - Australian Fuchsia, Botany Bay Tea Tree
DESCRIPTION: This group consists of about ten tender, evergreen shrubs found in Tasmanian and Australia. These shrubs, commonly known as Australian Fuchsia, have thin branches clothed with fine, brown fuzz. Their leathery, short-stalked leaves are dark green above and grayish-green underneath. The tubular flowers are about an inch long and may be white, pink, scarlet, crimson, or red and white; they are produced abundantly in late winter. C. backhousiana is a medium-sized shrub that bears clusters of pendent, greenish-white flowers. C. Mannii is a small bush with rose-scarlet flowers.
POTTING: Australian Fuchsias can be grown outside in warm climates or in greenhouses having a minimum temperature of 45º F. They should be grown in very sandy, well-drained, peat and loam. When grown in a greenhouse, repotting is done after the flowers have died. They are lifted out of their containers and a little of the old soil is removed before setting them into slightly larger pots. Firm the compost with a potting stick. Shade them from direct sunlight at first, then gradually harden them off and expose them to full light to ripen the wood for flower production the next year. The branches can be trimmed a bit in order to maintain a neat appearance, once they've stopped flowering.
PROPAGATION: Half-ripe shoots can be inserted in sandy peat in August. The cuttings are kept under a bell jar in the greenhouse until roots have formed. They are then potted separately into 3-inch pots and later, into larger ones.
VARIETIES: C. alba (the Botany Bay Tea Tree); C. speciosa and its varieties bicolor, Harrisii, and pulchella; C. backhousiana; C. Mannii.
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