Friday, February 17, 2017

In the Field: Emu Tree

During a recent field trip, clusters of long pink flower spikes caught our eye. These giant Emu Trees, also known as Hakea francisiana can grow stems up to 8 feet tall. The vibrant flowers bloom within the blue-green foliage and the long sweeping style of the branches ensures that they are predominately displayed, never failing to attract attention.

They take their name, francisiana, from George William Francis a Victorian botanist who established a herbarium and was the first director of the Adelaide Botanical Gardens in Australia. This hakea has been in cultivation for years but is mainly suited to Mediterranean-like climates and it flowers best in an open, very well drained areas. Francisianna is tolerant of moderate frosts and its blooms are very attractive to pollinators. Use it as a feature shrub in the garden or as an accent flower in arrangements.

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