Callistemon viminalis 'Slim'

Callisemon at the LA arboretum
After admiring the many mature Callistemon viminalis at the LA Arboretum,  I thought it would be lovely to have one here in the garden.  It was good luck to find a selection called 'Slim'.
 I hope 'Slim' will be the perfect replacement for a long-miserable Euonymous 'Chollipo'.  The Euonymous always struggled with insufficient water (it wanted a lot).  Given a modest amount of water, hopefully the Callistemon will both thrive and be yet another nectar source for the hummingbirds. 
This Callistemon has potential as a tall-ish narrow hedge, 10' tall (3 M) and 3-4' wide (1-1.5 M), trimmable to 60 cm (2') I'll update performance as it grows.  It will likely be more xeric than the Euonymous.  
Update 3/26/2016
'Slim' is having a great spring bloom.  The weight of so many flowers is bending over the young, soft stems, but they should strengthen as the plant matures.  It hasn't needed much water or care.  I like this plant!
  I still have two other 'Chollipo's.  One of them is doing better with a bit more water and a half day of shade (almost full shade in winter).  When I clean out the koi pond filters, it gets a good dose of nutrient-rich dirty pond water, and looks decent, if not glorious.  It screens the pond equipment from one of the neighbors--or it will when it bulks up more.
I was hoping 'Chollipo' would be a holy grail of sorts as a narrow, vertical hedging plant.  Here it needs plentiful water:  it grows and looks its best after several heavy rains (which we have not had for a long time).  The other remaining plant is a short round shape currently.  Last summer I cut it almost to the ground and was going to remove it.  A long period of extreme heat chased me out of the garden and so I left the shrub stitting.  It actually looks better than it did:
Update 3/26/2016:  due to the drought, I dug up and discarded the above 'Chollipo'.  The other still remains, for now.

We've had brutal heat all week--86F, 88F (31C), 89F, 92F (33 C).  Today was a little cooler at only 86F (30C), but humidity was only 11%.  Rosa 'Bishop's Castle was later than the rest of the roses, which are now all between flushes.  This week, 'Bishop Castle' was in full display--well, not any more.
 The Sweet Peas are blasted and near death.  At least we got a few bouquets.  I was out at dawn this morning looking for the best to pick for the vase, plus a few roses.  There's no use leaving roses in the garden in this kind of heat, as you can see by the previous photo.  That's the 'Ebb Tide' rose, somewhat toasted, but what a color!
'North Shore' sweet peas with a Drakensburg Daisy:
 Poor toasted plants:
'Rouge Royale' and 'Evelyn' roses.  Cutting them for the vase means the plant doesn't have to try to keep them hydrated on a hot day.  


  1. Oh, hey, do I love that EbbTide with the sweet peas, the color is superb (to me). An appropriate May Day bo-kay. Also glad to know that someone else's roses got crisped and that it wasn't my faulty way of caring for them.

  2. It continues to interest to see what does and doesn't do well with the drought and heat. Hopefully Slim will live up to its potential.

    1. We'll find out. I was taken by this bit of an article in the NYT about a musician/watch collector:

      “My first tattoo looks nothing like my last tattoo, and they’re the same thing,” Mr. Mayer said. He pulled up the right sleeve of his T-shirt to demonstrate.

      “That’s the best koi fish you can find,” he said dismissively, nodding toward the crude fish tattoo he got at 18. “And that,” he said, pulling up his other sleeve to show off a lovely reinterpretation he got at 32, “is the koi fish that you want.”

      He lowered the sleeve. “It all represents the trip through knowledge.”

      Gardening is also a "trip through knowledge".

  3. Do you know if Callistemon viminalis 'Slim' is what's growing in the Children's Garden at the San Diego Botanic Garden? It certainly looks like the photos you posted. Gorgeous plant and definitely more miserly than the euonymus.

    1. No idea. The web site doesn't list 'Slim'. See:

  4. Hooray for a new plant addition. Sorry about your heat and toasted plants. Your cut flowers look great. I'll see what I can do about sending you a nice cooling 60 degree breeze from my garden.

  5. I hope the Callistemon does the job for you - I'm happy with my C. 'Cane's Hybrid' thus far. The heat was even worse here this week and the few roses I had all shriveled. I'm glad you were able to rescue some of yours and those beautiful sweet peas to enjoy inside. I broke my self-imposed water restrictions yesterday to conduct emergency resuscitations but I'm afraid I waited too long in some cases.

  6. Pardon the Pollyannaish attitude, but it's nice to have an excuse to bring flowers inside to enjoy. Those are some beautiful and fragrant bouquets.


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