Chorizema: Greenhouse Plants
C – cool, minimum of 7°C (45°F)
I always thought I should hate a plant with orange and pink flowers until I first saw Chorizema ilicifolium growing in the Australian House at Kew Gardens. It is also one of those plants whose name is easy to remember because of its descriptive quality; the leaves really are like small holly (Ilex) leaves. Not an easy plant to find but a most rewarding one to grow, it will begin to produce its bright pea-like flowers even as a rooted cutting and will continue from March to October. It is better not to prune if you have the space, allowing them to grow to a bush of 1.2 m (4 ft). Pruning lightly after flowering will enable plants to be restricted to a system of canes in a pot. Compost should be of equal parts loam, peat and grit to give good drainage. Cuttings should be taken in March and seed can also be sown. I have only ever seen one other species offered as seed—C. Dicksonii, which is a similar but slightly smaller shrub.