Eremophila is a large genus of 214 species, all endemic to Australia. They are generally plants of inland and arid areas and are popular with Australian plant enthusiasts.
Eremophila youngii is one of the better known members of the genus and is popular among growers of Australian plants. It is an upright shrub which can reach 3 metres x 2 metres under good conditions. The leaves are linear to lance-shaped, up to 60mm long and slightly “hooked” at the tip. The pink to red flowers occur singly in the leaf axils and are tubular in shape to about 25 mm long. They generally hang downwards along the flowering stem. Flowering occurs mainly through winter and spring but some flowers may also be seen at other times.
Despite its desert occurrence, E.youngii has proven adaptable in a wide range of areas in well drained soils and full sun. It is likely to be less reliable, however, in sub tropical and tropical areas. Once established, the plant tolerates extended dry periods. It is also tolerant of at least moderate frost and responds well to pruning.
Propagation from seed of Eremophila species is unreliable. A number of treatment methods have been tried including sowing the ripe fruits, sowing of aged and washed fruits and splitting the fruits to extract the seeds prior to sowing. The latter involves splitting the fruits in halves and quarters but some seeds are inevitably damaged during the process.
E.youngii can be grown from cuttings but these may not strike easily.
Photo: Brian Walters