December 13, 2017

It’s a Dwarf

Plants from Middle Earth

Garden Maine’s New Zealand Extravaganza – Celebrating a Completely Unexpected Journey

Anna Paton Photo | Hebe pinguifolia 'Sutherlandii'

Anna Paton Photo | Hebe pinguifolia ‘Sutherlandii’

Anna Paton Photo | Hebe pinguifolia 'Sutherlandii'

Anna Paton Photo | Hebe pinguifolia ‘Sutherlandii’

When one thinks shrub, one tends to think of a fairly large plant. That would not be the case with Hebe pinguifolia ‘Sutherlandii,’ a New Zealand-bred cultivar of hebe. This dwarf evergreen shrub might reach 16 inches in height and width, taking up to a decade to achieve those heights. Its dense ball-shaped form with gray-green leaves is accentuated by white flowers in the spring that blossom over a long period. Unlike some Dwarves in a certain Hobbit movie, the shrub is a tidy dwarf, growing well in sun or part shade. It even tolerates hard frosts and is cold hardy to what would be Zone 6 in the United States.

* * * * * * * * *

Photographs kindly provided by Anna Paton of Auckland, New Zealand, at Auckland Botanic Gardens in November 2012. For a brief interview with Anna, click to read here.

* * * * * * * * *

“New Zealand’s flora is described as being unique due to our long isolation many thousands of years ago. We have some 2,357 different plant species and approximately 80% of them are endemic, meaning they don’t occur anywhere else in the world.”

– From the Auckland Botanic Gardens website

* * * * * * * * *

How did all this come about? You can read about how Janine Pineo of Garden Maine found Anna Paton, more than 9,000 miles away, as the crow flies. If a crow could fly 9,000 miles like that. Click here for that story.

Anna Paton Photo | Hebe pinguifolia 'Sutherlandii'

Anna Paton Photo | Hebe pinguifolia ‘Sutherlandii’