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Regional Picks: Plant This, Not That – Southern California

Fine Gardening - Issue 153

Coral Fountain
Photo: Bill Johnson

‘Little John’ callistemon

Overused: ‘Little John’ callistemon

(Callistemon ‘Little John’)

1. Coral Fountain

Name: Russelia equisetiformis

USDA Hardiness Zones: 9 to 11

Size: 2 to 4 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil

Take the delicate, cascading wispiness of asparagus fern and cover it with clusters of narrow red lipstick tubes and you’ve got coral fountain. This plant origi­nates in Mexico but looks like it might have been brought to earth by extraterrestrials. Coral fountain is a versatile plant, growing in sun or shade, in the ground or in a pot. It can even be trained on a trellis to bring its delightful flowers into view. The foliage is bright green, so when the plant is not flowering (which is seldom), it still commands attention. Another plus: Hummingbirds and butterflies find it attractive.


‘Western Pink Star’ Australian Fuchsia
Photo: millettephotomedia.com

Creeping rosemary

Overused: Creeping rosemary

(Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’)

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