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Koala Blooms: New Australian Plants

Articles: Koala Blooms: New Australian Plants

Boronia crenulata ‘Rosy Splendor’

Each year, The Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz, (UCSC) works closely with growers in Australia and here in California to introduce new plants through a unique program called Koala Blooms. In this collaborative effort, many impressive Australian plant cultivars are evaluated for their beauty, durability in landscape situations, potential for invasiveness, performance in nursery conditions, and sturdiness with regard to drought, weather extremes, and soil pathogens. From all the choice plants selected and trialed, only a few are introduced each year. The program generates a small income to support the Arboretum.

The Koala Blooms program has its roots in the mid-1970s, when Rodger and Gwen Elliot, of Melbourne, Australia, sent their first shipment of Australian plants from their Australian native plants nursery to the UCSC Arboretum; plants have been arriving ever since. The enthusiasm for native plants has attracted Australians to the California countryside and Californians to the Australian bush. Countless longstanding friendships have emerged through all of this horticultural ...

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