Winter for many native plants is a time for recovery; recovery from hot, dry periods and a time to settle in and make the most of the impending rain. This stasis-like mode allows many plants to burst into growth and flower when the spring warmth and light comes. This normally means lots of winter greenery and not many flowers.
One plant genus that flowers through the winter is the Correa family. Their pale green, red and white petals are lovely beacons of colour through winter.
Correa alba is a coastal plant with matte green leaves with white and hairy undersides. The flower is star shape and white, flowering from now right through winter to spring. The star shaped flower is one sign it belongs to the Rutaceae family (oranges and lemons). We love it so much that we made it our logo!
This Correa can grow on the coastal front (not minding seaspray). Full sun and a bit of water in the depths of summer will see it grow to up to 2m, however they can be trimmed at almost any height to form a hedge.
Correa alba was also used as a tea substitute that supposedly tastes like Earl Grey. And provides vital food for insects and birds when not much else is flowering. It is one of two local correas – the other being Correa reflexa – and both are available for sale in small quantities at our nursery.