2019 Plants of the Month

  • Each month the Growing Friends will choose a plant from their nursery to showcase
  • Previous Year's Plants of the Month - Have a look at them all

  • Tibouchina urvilleana ‘Edwardsii’ - Jan/Feb 2019 Plant of the Month


    This stunning shrub originates in southern Brazil. It is a slender-branched, compact species developing a short trunk topped by a bushy rounded crown and reaches 2 metres in height. The young stems are reddish and slightly hairy, turning brown later. The oval leaves are 5–10 cm long, dark green above and slightly hairy below. It produces rich purple to violet, silky flowers, 8 cm wide with purple stamens which are borne singly or in small groups. The flower buds are large, reddish and hairy.  Flowering time is late summer/autumn.  They prefer full sun or semi shade and do best in a moist/well drained soil with added organic matter and a slightly acidic to neutral ph.

    The Growing Friends have plenty of stock of this spectacular, distinctive Tibouchina

    Echinopsis atacamensis - Plant of the Month - March/April 2019


    The name Echinopsis - hedgehog appearance, and atacamesis - meaning from the Atacama desert region, this plant typifies the image of a cactus for many of us. A single or branched grey green columnar plant with many red spines along its' ribbed trunk, it may reach 8 metres tall over time. Creamy white and pink tipped flowers emerge along its trunk spines. Native to Bolivia and Argentina, it is used extensively there for its wood, and edible flowers and fruits. Originating from arid regions, E. atacamensis makes a statement planting in dry gardens of full sun and well drained soils. 

    The Friends Nursery has just been supplied with small plants of E. atacamensis from the Botanic Gardens Melbourne, which features them in the Guilfoyle's Volcano bed. 

    Camellia ‘Sophie Ducker’ -  Plant of the Month  - May 2019


    An interesting garden addition to the japonicas and sasanquas from the camellia family is the lovely hybrid ‘Sophie Ducker’.  Originated by well-known camellian, Dr R Withers in 1998, it is named for an Australian renowned botanist and botanical historian, Dr Sophie Ducker of Melbourne University. It is a seedling of another beauty, c. pitardii ‘Our Melissa’.  The miniature elegans-form flower is 4-5 cm across, has 5-6 petals shading from pink to white and a large boss of pale pink petaloids in the centre. Leaves are dark green and matt with new growth sometimes tinged red.  It flowers in early to mid-winter. This miniature cultivar is a bushy, somewhat slow growing plant, height approx. 1.5m, suitable for pot cultivation or a semi-shaded spot in the garden.  A protected position on a balcony could also be considered.  

    A number of these plants will be available at the Growing Friends Autumn Sale on 4-5 May 2019 near E Gate, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.