This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “40 Plants You (Probably) Have Never Heard of – But Will Love,” 40 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region but hard to find.
Spotted emu bush
Eremophila maculata “Alba”
Size: 3 to 6 feet tall and up to 10 feet wide.
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Bloom season: Lemon-yellow flowers in winter, January to March.
Exposure: Full sun.
Pruning needs: Shape as desired; shearing after bloom will increase flowers next year.
Water needs: Low water; once established, irrigate twice a month.
Snap shot: This little-known Australian shrub looks nothing like its namesake flightless bird, but the emu bush is well adapted to hot, windy and sunny landscapes. A dense, evergreen shrub with small dark green leaves, it produces masses of lemon-yellow flowers for great winter color. Plant it in well-drained soil and it will provide nectar for hummingbirds. The spotted emu bush can be effectively hedged, too, making it a water-wise “wall” for your garden space.
For more on “40 Plants,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.