Best Emu Bush Plants For Endless Winter Color
One of the many benefits of living in the Southwest is that we enjoy a lot of color from flowering shrubs, trees and other landscaping plants year round. If you need a splash of winter color, we love to plant one of these varieties of Emu Bush. Eremophelia or Emu Bush, as it is commonly known, is a tough drought and frost tolerant evergreen shrub that offers you winter color and a variety of choices.
The latin words that make up its formal name, eremo and phelia, literally translates to desert love. A perfect description for this family of desert landscaping shrubs. In Australia where the Emu Bush plant originates from, these rugged arid region plants flourish where even man cannot survive. In the Southwest we have quite a variety in bloom color, leaf color and even the size when working Emu Plants into our landscape design.
Valentine Emerophelia is a very popular shrub due to its rich winter color. Cold weather puts a red flush into the tiny leaves, giving the entire bush an overall appearance of being dark red. Brilliant red blooms appear in January and continue until April. In summer this fine textured plant will revert to its normal medium green foliage.
While the Valentine Emu Bush will mature to 4 feet high and up to 5 feet wide, you can keep it smaller with clipping after the blooming is finished. Left to take on its natural shape, this red Emu plant will have a lovely architecture with dense branching and a softer appearance than those that have been sheared.
Spotted Emu Bush adds a burst of early spring color in your landscape. Spotted Emu Bush (Emerophelia maculata) flowers in March and April. The inside of the plants trumpet bloom is spotted, giving this variety its name. The color of the blooms can vary greatly with this selection, as can its mature size, because E. maculata readily crosses with other Emerophelia species, of which there are over 200 known to exist.
Spotted Emu can be a dwarf from reaching only 2 feet tall on up to medium classified shrubs that will tower at 9 feet high. The blooms can be any number of shades including light or deep pink, yellow to orange or red to purplish red. Spotted Emu Plants have good frost tolerance and are excellent at sailing through dry weather without much watering once established.
Easter Egg Emu Bush (E. racemosa) has blooms that change colors in each stage from bud to finish. A medium to large shrub, it will mature at 4 feet to 6 feet high. This selection blooms heavily in spring, but will lend sporadic color to your xeriscaping until cold weather arrives again. Blooms on this Emerophelia start out yellow then turn orange in bud.
Desert tolerant Blue Emu Bush is another excellent low maintenance plant for Southwest landscaping plans. In Australia, this plant is almost extinct as it doesn’t thrive for more than a decade in the wild, causing it to slowly decline in numbers but thrives in the Southwest.
Blue Emu Bush (E. cancii) displays its lavender blue flowers in the late winter and spring and its silver foliage is present year around. It’s quite lovely and when grouped with Valentine bush, they can present quite a colorful display from winter through spring, however Valentine plants will begin to bloom earlier.
Fire and Ice Emerophelia glabra ‘Muchinsons River’. Another lovely silver leafed Emu Bush is Emerophelia glabra ‘Muchinsons River’ with a common name of Fire and Ice. Here’s a plant that demands a super arid location. It is stunning and also known to be short lived due to either improper drainage conditions or too much water being applied or it needs to be closely monitored.
The blooms on this small shrub sprawls across the ground and can reach 4 feet high with a spread of up to 9 feet. The flowers are a beautiful red giving a very stunning display with early color.
We hope you find these Emu bush plants as stunning as we do. While you will most likely come across many other varieties, just adding two or three of these shrubs can add some much needed winter color to your landscape.