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Lomatia - Growing Guide
Lomatia are evergreen trees and shrubs from Chile and Australasia. They are allied to embothrium, enjoy similar situations in the garden, and have similar flower structures.
The Chilean L. ferruginea is one of the most floriferous and dazzling trees in flower in July and August. It has opposite pinnate leaves with reddish brown down when young (similar to gevuina) and is perfectly hardy. The plant produces small racemes of flowers in massive clusters on the older (not new) growth. As such they tend to be partly concealed within the tree until you begin to look closely. Each raceme has up to 12 flowers which are tawny yellow and red in the centre when fully open. In bud they have a peculiar ‘spidery’ appearance. This tree is often out for Hampton Court flower show where we have sometimes exhibited it to great effect.
L. myricoides is a much smaller Australian shrub growing only 4-6ft. It is perfectly hardy in Cornwall growing in full sun with creamy white or yellow flowers in June or July. In city warmth and in south London we have seen this plant thriving equally well.
L. tinctoria is a Tasmanian suckering shrub growing to around 3ft. The flowers are pale yellow in July to August in terminal racemes 4-8in in length.
Like embothrium lomatia will all tolerate poorish soils in moist but well drained acidic soils in full sun. L. ferruginea will grow however into a much taller tree in deeper fertile soil.
Cuttings can readily be taken in early summer in a softwood state or, later, as semi-ripe wood.