Plants in my Garden - September 2022

Correa O M G Winter Bells

By Mike Beamish

Species: Correa ‘O.M.G.’.

Family: Rutaceae.


Correa: Named after Jose Francisco Correa de Serra (1751-1823), permanent secretary, Royal Academy of Sciences, Lisbon, Portugal.

Common Name: None.

Distribution: This Correa is a hybrid derived from a controlled breeding program, so does not have a natural distribution. It is subject to Plant Breeders Rights legislation.

Description: A medium shrub to 1.5m tall and broad, with broadly ovate, dark green leaves and prolific, large, red, bell-shaped flowers in autumn and winter.

Opinion: I am generally not a fan of man-made hybrids, much preferring either species or natural hybrids. There are only eleven species of Correa however, and they are very promiscuous, so there are heaps of natural hybrids/varieties out there in the wild and dozens of cultivars/selections are/have been developed by the nursery industry and enthusiasts over the years. O.M.G. is one of the Correa ‘Winter Bells’ range developed by Bywong Nursery (just north of the ACT border in southern NSW) and apparently its name was chosen because of customers exclaiming (I prefer exclamating, but my spellchecker doesn’t like it!) all over it when they see it. It is a wonder it hasn’t been killed by all the lightning strikes brought on by the nearby blaspheming.

My specimen was part of a gift for delivering a presentation to a sister APS group back in September 2018, was planted at the end of my northern driveway in the following autumn and has not yet lived up to its name. It would only be about 60cm tall, is pretty sparse and leggy and although it puts on a few flowers each autumn and winter, it has not yet inspired any exclamations from me or anyone else. Still, it is only young! Maybe I will give it a tip prune to see if it will thicken up and flower more, but it would be illegal for me to use those tips for propagation without permission from the PBR holder.

The Australian Plants Society Latrobe Valley Group hosts monthly activities, excursions and /or meetings. Interested persons are welcome to join in, please contact Mike for more information, email or phone 0447 452 755.

Sources:Online - Google.