Close Encounters Of The Chef's Cap Kind - Correa baeuerlenii

 |Correa baeuerlenii bud detail|

|Correa baeuerlenii bud detail|

What in the world?!  As if from the future, comes this fascinating flower formation that's sure to get your mind reeling.  What look like spotted upside-down hats were once flat flying-saucer like flower buds.  The Plant Provocateur is a sucker for the freaky flora and this super cool evergreen Australian shrub delivers the goods.  Don't know if you've met before but let me introduce you to the suavely supercool Correa baeuerlenii commonly referred to as the Chef's Cap Correa.  Correas are commonly referred to as Australian Fuchsia.  Correa baeuerlenii grabs The Plant Provocateur's attention a bit more than most correas because its flowers are so surreally sumptuous. Check it out.

 |Correa baeuerlenii bud + flower formation|

|Correa baeuerlenii bud + flower formation|

One minute Correa baeuerlenii's flower buds look like a u.f.o. and the next they resemble a chef's cap or stovepipe hat!  So cool.  So unexpected.  Flowers are full of nectar and can bring the hummingbirds to the yard.  As an added bonus, Correas generally flower from late autumn to early spring, so when things are pretty dull and drab outside, they kick out a 'florific' fashion show of the latest in floral couture. Reminds me of the amazing hats my friend and milliner at House of Nines Design creates by hand.

 |Correa baeuerlenii form + stem + flower detail|

|Correa baeuerlenii form + stem + flower detail|

And if the flowers of Correa baeuerlenii weren't fashionable enough, this handsome shrub structures itself with rich red stems and glossy green, tidy foliage giving it additional sophisticated style and verdant versatility in both, are you ready for it…. sun and shade situations.  Yeah, I said it.  Correas can grow well in both sun and shade situations, which can be a hard quality to find in most garden plants.  Now I must admit, I've seen this plant looking its most stellar in part-shade to shade situations.

Correa baeuerlenii tends to grow as a rounded shrub up to 4 feet tall and wide.  It can look smashing with an occasional prune for shape and encouragement of bushier growth.  It likes part shade situations, well-draining, composted soil, regular water, and is hardy down to around 15 degrees fahrenheit/-9 degrees celsius.  When temps get cold Cb's foliage tends to blush and turn red.  Giving us some festive realness.

Suave, debonair, fascinating.  Words to definitely describe one of the many awesome plants out there waiting to be discovered.  Why not invite Correa baeuerlenii into your plant lovin' world and watch it capture your curiosity.  From flying saucer to chef's cap…who would have thought?!