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New Zealand shrub looks ‘Pretty in Pink’

The foliage of “Pretty in Pink” hebe turns burgundy red as the plant grows.
The foliage of “Pretty in Pink” hebe turns burgundy red as the plant grows.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Life After Lawn” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and ideal for drought-tolerant landscapes.

Pink-flowering spreading hebe

Hebe “Pretty in Pink”

Size: Up to 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide.

Bloom season: In spring and summer, dark red flower clusters send out “spidery” pistils (the flower’s female parts) that can turn yellow green.

Exposure: Full sun or partial shade.

Pruning needs: Shape when young.

Water needs: Low; once established, water deeply once a month.

Snapshot: Named for the Greek god of youth, this small shrub comes from an interesting family of drought-tolerant plants. Native to New Zealand, this compact evergreen variety features attractive, smooth, shiny foliage that blushes to burgundy on its growth tips. In spring and summer, abundant, dense pink flower spikes cover the shrub. Living up to its “Pretty in Pink” varietal name, these flowers are very attractive set against the burgundy-colored foliage.

For more on “Life After Lawn,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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