Trees and shrubs. 

 

Embothrium coccineum 'Norquinco Form'... well as if Embothrium coccineum wasn't desirable enough, this form from the Norquinco Valley in Chile is believed by plantsmen to be the best. The unusual orange flowers are borne in exceptional numbers when the plant is mature, and are admired by all who see them, gardener or not! Desirable, but with a reputation of being difficult to grow; success relies on an acidic soil which is humus rich (NOT heavy loam/clay) which is permanently moist while never becoming waterlogged, and shelter from the worst winds. Sounds tricky? Well yes, this plant is exacting in it's requirements, but if you have the right conditions it should prove easy to grow. Also worth noting that this plant is in the Protea family, and like many other Proteas it resents feeding. A plant as wonderful as this, even the ordinary E. coccinea, is worth a shot if you have anything like the right conditions, but be warned- this plant is difficult enough to track down in nurseries!

 

Sinocalycalycanthus x raulstonii 'Hartlage Wine' is, in my opinion, one of the finest flowering shrubs to be released in recent years. Bred by Richard Hartlage at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum in the US, this hybrid between the  American Calycanthus florida and the Chinese Sinocalycanthus chinensis is a triumph of shrub breeding, combining the superb flower form of the Sinocalycanthus with something near the colour of the Calycanthus. Also this variety flowers in May/June, adding big flowers to the palette available to gardeners. This shrub will grow happily in any reasonable soil, preferring not to be too alkaline, and will enjoy a sunny or partly shaded spot. In time it will grow fairly big, reaching up to 10ft (3m) tall and wide, and can be pruned, although it's not advisable unless absolutely necessary. This is a marvelous shrub and deserves to be grown widely.