This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, woolly stamens). Rutaceae. Coolhouse evergreen shrubs from Australia, with starry, five-petaled flowers an inch wide, of white or blush-pink. Very little known in America, but abroad considered amongst the finest of hard-wooded winter or spring-blooming Australian plants.
Leaves alternate, entire, glandular-dotted: infloresence axillary or terminal, solitary or in clusters; calyx and corolla 5-parted, rarely 4-parted; stamens 8-10, free, shorter than the petals; anthers pointed: fruit 2-valved, 1-seeded. Much care is needed to produce well-trained specimens.
Eriostemons are among the most beautiful of Australian hard-wooded plants. They are propagated from cuttings made of the points of half-ripened wood. Choose pieces about 3 inches long, and insert in a pot filled with one part finely sifted peat, and two parts sharp sand. Water them and set in a case in a temperature of 55° to 60°, shading them from the sun. After they have rooted, pinch out the heart of the shoots, and when they show signs of breaking, transfer them singly into small pots in equal parts of peat and sand. When well rooted in these pots, give them a shift about two sizes larger, using good fibrous peat, in rather a lumpy state, and about a fifth part of good sharp sand, adding a little of finely broken charcoal. This compost may be used for all future pottings. If large plants are wanted quickly, it is better to grow them indoors all the year round, but they will not set flowers so well. Eriostemons flower in the smallest sized pot in spring, if they are grown outdoors all summer. The outdoor treatment ripens the wood thoroughly and the result will be seen when flowering time arrives. These plants are liable to run into strong shoots to the detriment of the weaker ones. When this is observed, cut them well back, and this will preserve the symmetry of the plant.
During their growing period they should be syringed freely. This helps to soften the wood and secure plenty of breaks, and also keep red-spider in check. A favorite method of propagation in the British Isles is by grafting on small plants of Correa alba. This insures a quicker means of raising the plants and is practised largely by nurserymen. A winter temperature of 40° by night should be maintained. However, if plants are wanted to flower earlier, they may be subjected to 50° or 55°. Eriostemons are sometimes attacked by brown and white scale. Fumigation with hydrocyanic gas is the best remedy. (George F. Stewart.)
A. Foliage linear or narrowly lanceolate. b. Leaves linear.
Paxt. A shrub with minutely pubescent or glabrous branches: leaves covered with minute roughnesses, sessile, acute and mucronulate: petals white, tipped pink. P.M. 13:127.
bb. Leaves narrowly lanceolate.
Seghers. Leaves broadest at middle, tapering both ways. R.B. 20:97. - Probably an old garden form of some well-known species.
Sprague. Shrub, 1-2 ft., the branches glabrous and shining: leaves sessile, linear-lanceolate, 1-2 in. long, glabrous: flowers in axillary slender clusters, quite like the next, but smaller.
aa. Foliage conspicuously wider.
B. Leaves 10-12 times as long as broad.
c. Apex abruptly pointed.
DC. Leaves widest at the middle, tapering evenly both ways, 1-3, rarely 4 in. long: flowers umbellate; petals white or sometimes pink, glandular on the back. B.M. 3180.
cc. Apex blunt.
Smith. This willow-leaved species has perhaps the handsomest foliage. Leaves widest above the middle, tapering more gradually to the base than to the apex: petals bright, soft pink. B.M. 2854.
bb. Leaves 3-4 times as long as broad.
Hook. Leaves 9-18 lines long, elliptical, abruptly pointed: petals lanceolate, white, but tipped with pink outside in the bud like the rest; ovary placed on a flat disk and not ringed at the base. Probably of garden origin. Intermediate between E. myoporoides and E. buxifolius. B.M. 4439.
buxifo\lius, Smith. Leaves as in E. intermedius, though perhaps smaller: petals obovate, white, tipped pink; ovary sunk into a double disk of 2 rings. B.M. 4101. G. 26:19. - E. densiflorus, Seghers, R.B. 20:97, looks like a prolific horticultural variety of this species.