Family: Escalloniaceae

This genus comprises some 50 species of hardy, evergreen shrubs and trees, most of which come from the Andes in South America. Many ornamental cultivars are also available. They are useful coastal plants and the shrubby types make good hedges, provided they are trimmed to encourage bushy growth. They have shiny, succulent, toothed leaves and dense sprays of white or pink flowers.


E. bifida, zone 9, is an attractive shrub or small tree, to 5 m (16 ft), with oval, finely toothed, glossy leaves and dense clusters of white flowers in summer. It is long lived if grown in a suitably mild climate.

E. x exonien­sis, zone 8, is a popular hedge plant, generally growing to around 3 m (10 ft), with open, branching habit. It produces loose sprays of white flowers, tinged with pink, in summer.

E. iveyi, a natural hybrid of E. x exoniensis and E. bifida, zone 8, is a strong, rounded shrub to 3 m (10 ft), with dense, terminal sprays of sweetly scented, white flowers, tinged with pink, from late summer to tall.

E. rubra var. macrantha, zone 8, is a vigorous, dense shrub, to 3.5 m (11 ft), which makes an excellent hedge. It has glossy, deep green leaves and tight clusters of showy, rose-crimson flowers in late
spring and summer. Cultivar 'C. F. Ball', zone 7, is also a vigorous grower, to 2 m (6 ft), with open-branching habit and carmine red flowers. There are other fine escallonia cultivars derived from a range of species, including 'Apple Blossom', zone 8, a dwarf plant with large, soft pink, summer flowers; Donard Brilliance', zone 7, a graceful plant with large, rosy crimson flow­ers in summer; and 'Donard Seedling', zone 7, with pink buds and white flowers.


Escallonias grow quickly, even in poor soils. Some species are quite hardy, but even the more tender kinds can take some frost if given the protection of a warm, sheltered wall. All require full sun. Propagate from semi-ripe cuttings in summer or autumn. Prune
lightly in mid-spring to prevent plants becom­ing straggly.


There are species suited to various climatic zones.