Family: Proteaceae

These slow-growing, evergreen trees from the central and southern Andes of South America look spectacular when in full bloom, though this can take around 10 years. Their flowers are similar to those of the tree waratah (Alloxylon flammeum).


E. coccineum, Chilean fire bush, grows 3-9 m (10-30 ft), with narrow, glossy, dark green leaves to 5 cm (2 in) long. The showy, bright scarlet flowers, to 5 cm (2 in) long, appear in mid-spring to early summer. Var. lanceolatum 'Norquinco' is an especially hardy form, grown for its graceful, arched branches and good blooming. The leaves are longer and narrower.


Best planted in a woodland garden or other sheltered area, in partial shade or full sun, in acid to neutral, humus-rich, moist soil. Propagate from semi-ripe cuttings in summer. Provide basal warmth.


Zone 8.