Halleria elliptica

Water Needs

low; moderate, drought hardy

Halleria elliptica
Shrub: small; Shrub medium
Rock Tree-fuchsia, Bush Honeysuckle, Wild Fuschia (Eng.); Kinderbessie

1,5 – 2.5 m x 1,5 wide

Size

Light Conditions

shade; semi-shade; sun

Frost

moderate; hardy

Flowers

orange-red; April to October; autumn winter spring

sun; dry shade; semi-shade; shade; container; shrubbery; narrow spaces; screen; sandy soils; dry soils; wildlife bees, butterflies birds insects; clay soils;

Garden Situation

Habitat

fynbos shrub, forest; rocky places; streams

Region

Western Cape

Rain Season

winter

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Description

Halleria elliptica is a Western Cape endemic, a gorgeous evergreen, shrubby member of this floriferous genus. The slender, bushy, upright form, size and shape are perfect for narrow spaces and small gardens. This medium-sized shrub enjoys life in the shade but, as with many species, flowers better when it receives some sun; preferably morning sun. The leaves are small, olive green with slightly serrated upper margins and taper to a rounded point. In a dry winter when soil moisture is limited they’re flushed dark purple-red. Tubular orange-red flowers grow in small clusters or are solitary, usually growing out of the leaf axils; occasionally they sprout from older woody branches. They form pendulous tubes, either straight or curved, with a slightly flared mouth. Juicy green fruits follow in June, ripening to black, attracting numerous berry-eating birds. Flowers produce volumes of nectar that feed bees, butterflies, and other insects for months. Plants grow moderately fast where rains are reasonable, and, though it flowers well in the sun, prefers some respite from the midday sun. It’s a multi-stemmed plant with new growth from the base. Flowering begins in May, but you can always find a few stragglers – or tenacious opportunists – through the year. This is one of the prettiest shrubs for winter rainfall gardens – and even summer rainfall where soils drain well, and it receives some afternoon shade. Plants cope with a moderate frost, and flowering is more abundant with plentiful autumn and winter rain through its flowering season. Prune dead twigs and woody growth to keep plants producing new stems from the base. Plant in groups as they occur in nature. Propagate via semi-hardwood cuttings in autumn or spring; otherwise, H. elliptica is quite rewarding to grow from seed sown in autumn or spring as they germinate within 3 to 6 weeks. Halleria elliptica is rather more difficult to find than H. lucida but is definitely worth the hunt. Fruits are edible, sweetly flavoured, though somewhat drying.

Halleria elliptica
Halleria elliptica