Clianthus (non-CP topic)

Thu, 20 Jan 94 10:11:06 CST

For those interested in sources of the Clianthus mentioned, I found the
following in my 1994 J.L. Hudson catalog (P.O. Box 1058, Redwood City,
California, 94064 USA, catalog $1 US, no phone):

Clianthus formosus (=Dampieri) $1.50 US "Stuart's Desert Pea', 'Glory Pea'.
Magnificent trailing shrub to 4 feet, with clusters of large, bright
scarlet shiny peculiarly shaped 3" long flowers with a black eye. Pinnate,
silky grey-green foilage. Central Australia. Fast growing in poor sandy
soils. Withstands down to 13 F (-10 C) for short periods, and less than
8 inches (20 cm) of rain per year. Must be grown in almost pure sand or
very well-drained soil, and does not transplant well. In cold climates it
is best grown grafted as a seedling onto the roots of C. puniceus or
Colutea arborescens, making it much more adaptable and longer-lived."

Clianthus puniceus $2.00 US "'Parrot's Beak', 'Red Kaka Beak', 'Kowhai-ngutu-
kaka' (Maori name). Dense masses of crimson-red 3" long unusual flowers are
suspended below the arching branches in spring and summer. Spreading, fast-
growing shrub to 3-12 feet, and open habit and dark green, fern-like
pinnate foliage. New Zealand. Much easier than C. formosus, it tolerates
a wide range of soils, and stands frost to about 13 F. Good espaliered to
display the blooms, which are filled with sweet nectar and attract birds.
May flower the first year. The showiest and most early-known of N.Z. plants
grown since 1775. Almost extinct in the wild, it is classed as endangered
but is well-established in cultivation."

A 1990 Chiltern's seed catalog listed C. formosus and 3 varieties of C.
puniceus, but I don't have a current catalog for them.