Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Plant of the Day - Embothrium coccineum (Chilean Flame Tree)

Just by the name alone, doesn't it sound exotic and wonderful?

I happened to be at McMenamin’s Edgefield over the weekend and nearly peed down my leg when I saw this Chilean Flame Tree and the hummingbird action it was receiving.   There were only a few flowers down low, but I did finally get to see them up close.

While I do actually have this plant (from Cistus) mine is only about 10" high and going on its second year in the garden. It is going to be quite a few years before the "hummingbird buffet" is open for business.

The Chilean Flame Tree is stunning in late spring/early summer when it covers itself with bright scarlet flowers. An excellent garden plant, evergreen in mild winters, deciduous when the temperatures go into the teens. A slender tree to 25’ eventually in full to part sun, with regular water. Loves cool ground so best in a north aspect and with ground covering plants to protect the roots. No phosphorous fertilizer. Cold hardy to Zone 7b.

There was also this shrub. I don't know this plant personally, but a plant nerd friend I.D.'d it as possibly an Iochroma ('Empress'?), a solanum from South America. The flowers were white hanging trumpets. It may be on the verge of its range here in Portland and he thought may die back quite a bit in the winter. The hummers seemed to love it too.


  1. Two really cool plants! Your videos of humming birds enjoying the flowers are cool! It may be helpful to restrict your fluid intake before visiting gardens with really cool plants:)

  2. The hummers were attacking the feeder on our porch as never before yesterday, with the rain pouring down.
    Another Embothrium post...it's getting to be an epidemic of the most beautiful kind.

  3. I love the hummingbird video! They are so much fun to watch. My Embothrium is brand new, and still quite small too. I'm hoping for great things from it.

  4. This is the plant Ricki and I admired so much at Joy Creek Nursery. It's on my must have soon list.