Chinese Lantern Tree
Crinodendron hookerianum is a stiffly branched evergreen shrub with toothed narrow dark green leaves and attractive lantern-shaped scarlet to deep carmine-pink flowers.
Crinodendron hookerianum is a stiffly branched evergreen shrub with toothed narrow dark green leaves and attractive lantern-shaped scarlet to deep carmine-pink flowers
Crinodendron hookerianum grows to about 6m. and spreads to 5m depending on local conditions. It is frost hardy, but a bad year will see the softer growth “pruned back”.
Plant in full sun for best results.
Requires Acid Soil
Crinodendron hookerianum, commonly known as the Chilean Lantern Tree, is a stunning evergreen shrub that belongs to the family of Elaeocarpaceae. It is native to Chile, specifically in the Andes Mountains and the coastal regions of the central and southern parts of the country. The plant was named after the famous Scottish botanist Sir William Jackson Hooker who first collected a specimen of it in Chile in 1849.
Crinodendron hookerianum is a small to medium-sized tree that can grow up to 10 meters in height in its native habitat, but in cultivation, it usually stays around 2-4 meters. The tree has a slender, upright growth habit with multiple branches. The leaves are dark green, glossy, and lance-shaped, with a pointed tip and a wavy edge. The leaves are evergreen, which means they will stay on the tree all year round.
The most striking feature of Crinodendron hookerianum is its exquisite flowers. The flowers appear in late spring and early summer, usually from October to January in its native range. The flowers are bell-shaped, around 2.5 centimeters in diameter, and hang downwards on long, thin stalks. The petals are bright scarlet-red, and the sepals are a deep burgundy color, which gives the flowers a lantern-like appearance. The flowers are produced in profusion, covering the tree in a mass of color, making it a real showstopper.
Crinodendron hookerianum is a versatile plant that can be grown in a range of conditions. It prefers a cool, temperate climate with moderate rainfall, but it can also tolerate some heat and dryness once established. It prefers a sheltered spot with some shade, but it can also grow in full sun if the soil is kept moist. The plant is frost hardy and can withstand temperatures down to around -5°C.
The plant is not fussy about soil type and will grow in most soils as long as they are well-draining. It prefers a slightly acidic soil, so if you have alkaline soil, it is advisable to add some organic matter or sulfur to lower the pH. The plant is relatively low maintenance and only needs regular watering and some pruning to keep it in shape.
In cultivation, Crinodendron hookerianum is often grown as a specimen plant or in a mixed border. It is a perfect plant for adding a splash of color to a shaded area of the garden, and it combines well with other evergreen shrubs such as camellias and rhododendrons. It can also be grown in a large container, which makes it an ideal plant for a patio or balcony.
Propagation of Crinodendron hookerianum is relatively easy, and it can be done from seed or from cuttings. Seeds should be sown in autumn, and they may take up to two years to germinate. Cuttings can be taken in spring or summer, and they should be treated with rooting hormone before being planted in a well-draining potting mix.
In conclusion, Crinodendron hookerianum is a beautiful and striking evergreen shrub that can add a splash of color to any garden. Its exquisite flowers are a real showstopper, and it is relatively low maintenance, making it an ideal plant for gardeners of all levels of experience. If you are looking for a versatile and eye-catching plant, then Crinodendron hookerianum is definitely worth a place in your garden.