Crowea are a small genus of shrubs from the Rutaceae family, of which citrus, Boronia and Eriostemon are also members. The most popular of the Crowea include Crowea exalata, Crowea saligna and Crowea angustifolia.
Crowea exalta is undoubtedly the most popular of all the Crowea, both as a cut flower and as a worthy addition to the garden. The plant can be found in north and eastern Victoria, the south coast of New South Wales and is particularly fond of the rocky areas around Sydney and the Hawkesbury region. It is a relatively small shrub, only growing to approximately 0.75 metres. It flowers throughout most of the year, but is most prolific during autumn and winter. The waxy flowers are five-petal share shaped, and usually pink, but more rarely can be white. The foliage is quite small.
Crowea saligna is a smaller shrub, usually growing to only half a metre, but the flower, which can also be pink or white, are larger, growing up to 4cm across. This species occurs mainly around the Hawkesbury region near Sydney.
Crowea angustifolia comes from Western Australia and has small light pink or white flowers. It is a small to medium shrub and has a dwarf form that only grows to 0.25 metres in height.
In the garden, Crowea, in particular Crowea exalta make fine additions. They handle most climates and conditions, although they do prefer a moist, well-drained soil. Some pruning can help them to develop a nice shape and promote denser foliage. They are frost tolerant, but have been known to suffer in drought conditions. Light shade is preferable to full sun, although they will tolerate both.
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