Cape May

Coleonema album

White Confetti Bush

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This very attractive shrub has a compact structure with fine foliage and profusion of tiny white fragrant flowers in Winter and Spring. It is extremely versatile and can be used in containers, as a topiary, or as an accent plant. It does particularly well in coastal gardens as it can tolerate strong salt-laden winds and requires very little maintenance.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Spring, Winter

Fruiting time

Summer

Harvesting

Harvest as needed.

Propagation

Seed

Collect seeds and store in brown paper bag. Sow in Autumn.

Cuttings

Take cuttings of approximately 7cm from the growing tip of the branch. Remove the bottom third of the foliage. Dip into hormone rooting powder and place in potting soil. Roots appear around 12 weeks.

Special features

Repels harmful insects

Campers rub the leaves onto their bedding to repel ants and mosquitos.

Attracts useful insects

Bees and butterflies

Drought resistant

Once established it is quite drought tolerant

Pot plant

Makes a good pot specimen, can be topiaried

Hedge plant

Due to its compact growth this is a good plant for hedging.

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Special features

Origin

Cape Peninsula, South Africa

Natural climate

Mediterranean

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Ornamental

It is an excellent coastal plant and can be used as a topiary specimen or as a bonsai.

Odour repellant

The aromatic leaves containing essential oils are used by fishermen to remove the odour of redbait (aas) from their hands, hence the common name.

Insect repellant

Campers rub the leaves onto their bedding to keep ants and mosquitoes away. The leaves are used in potpourri and act as an insect repellant.

Personality

Family

Rutaceae

Flower colour

White

Scent

Strong

Problems

Yellow leaves can be treated with iron chelate.

Credits

profile iconColeonema album
by Norma Jodamus, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, September 2003 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
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Knowledge and advice

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