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Escallonia virgata (Ruiz & Pavon) Pers.

Modern name

Escallonia virgata (Ruiz & Pav.) Pers.


Stereoxylon virgatum Ruiz & Pavon; E. philippiana (A. Engl.) Mast.

A deciduous shrub of robust habit and graceful form 6 to 8 ft high, the branches very leafy, often arching. Leaves obovate, 12 to 34 in. long, 16 to 14 in. wide, tapering at the base, toothed; quite glabrous on both surfaces. Flowers pure white, 13 to 12 in. across, produced during June and July in the uppermost leaf-axils and at the end of short twigs, the whole forming a leafy raceme 34 to 112 in. long; calyx top-shaped, with five triangular lobes.

Native of Chile from 370 S. to the end of the continent, and of neighbouring parts of Argentina; introduced by Pearce for Messrs Veitch, between 1860 and 1866, and first flowered in their nursery in 1873. This is undoubtedly the hardiest of all known escallonias; it has survived without any injury 32° of frost at Kew, quite unprotected. It is also very distinct; besides being deciduous, its petals do not, as in so many species, form a kind of tube. Both in leaf and flower it bears a considerable resemblance to the New Zealand shrub Leptospermum scoparium – an ally, however, of the myrtle. It is undoubtedly one of the most pleasing of later-flowering shrubs. It is rather variable in habit in the wild state. Near the tree-line it forms a spreading procumbent shrub, while in the Magellan region it is sometimes seen as a small fastigiate bush.

Escallonia virgata

Escallonia virgata



Other species in the genus