Updates on Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt', Adenanthos cuneata 'Coral Drift', Grevillea 'Coastal Gem'

All of these plants are native to Australia, and they are planted side by side on the east facing slope, near the Avocado tree.  
'Cousin Itt' at purchase in March, 2011
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'Cousin Itt' #1 died.  My opinion was it wasn't the healthiest specimen.  'Cousin Itt' #2, planted right next to #1 originally, has grown if not thrived.  The glossy foliage remains gorgeous, actually even more gorgeous than at purchase, because the branches are longer so there is more beautiful soft green to run your fingers through.
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That's the good news.  The bad news is that 'Cousin Itt' is kind of bald on top.  
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Bummer.  Would some afternoon shade prevent that?   It gets regular water and has superb drainage.  It's in full sun. 
 Adenanthos cuneatus 'Coral Drift' was purchased at 30% off in July 2011
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It doesn't look so great.  I saw it in the San Francisco Bay area last June, a few dozen feet from the bay itself, where it looked marvelously luxuriant.
Mine don't look like this:
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Here it is balding far worse than 'Cousin Itt'.  Oh, what do you need?  If only you could tell me. 
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 It is in full sun with regular water and superb drainage.  Too hot here? 
Grevillea 'Coastal Gem' is the big success.  January 2012 was the purchase date.   
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It's stayed very low, 8" (20 cm) at most.  It's grown to over double initial width, but not in an obnoxious way.  It looks absolutely wonderful. 
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 I could populate the entire east slope with it and be satisfied.  Only a year in the ground, though--will it eventually form a thick thatch of dry, dead, woody material, like other spreaders?   Right now, it's the Gem.

These plants are not the most easily visible in the garden.  I must brave my way past the neighbor's ground cover rose with its nasty sharp prickles, planted right on the property line, then up to a block wall to have a close look at those three shrubs.  This was somewhat deliberate--it gets me up there to weed and inspect (and run my fingers through the beautiful foliage of 'Cousin Itt') because the plants are choice--or at least all three of them were, at purchase. 


  1. I have 4 'Cousin Itt' (which, by coincidence, almost ended up in a post as my favorite today - next week maybe). All receive partial shade. Of the 3 in the ground, 2 are lacy but a bit sparse and one looks almost exactly as when it was planted over a year ago but no bigger. All these have to deal with root competition from a nearby tree. The happiest of the 4 is in a large pot - it's very healthy and has already grown visibly larger although I've only had it since September. I have a G. lanigera as well but mine was sold as 'Mount Tamboritha,' not 'Coastal Gem.' It's only been in place since January of this year and I can only hope it spreads as well as yours has.

    1. Thanks for reporting your experience on 'Cousin Itt', Kris. I have seen spectacular potted specimens, but my care of potted plants is dismal if not downright cruel.


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