Now that I have been awarded the National Collection status for my Corokia collection, I would like to promote this largely unknown and undervalued genus.
I think the Corokia genus is a very useful plant which is particularly suited to seaside conditions being drought wind and salt tolerant and quite hardy up to -8degrees C provided it is given good drainage.As a plant originating from New Zealand it shares similar “island conditions” to the UK. It is a very versatile evergreen shrub, easy to grow, able to withstand semishade and not susceptible to diseases. Corokia species and hybrids have a delicate, attractive foliage, and come in a great variety of colours from subtle shades of green through to bronze, yellow and silver, even variegated foliage. They reach different heights, and can be clipped being a good alternative to box, as ‘buxus’ is prone to ‘box blight’, and therefore can be incorporated in any size garden.They can be used as attractive specimen plants, or as a hedge, or be part of a mixed border.
There are still few cultivars available to the general public, but a forward looking nursery like Trevena Cross in Cornwall is selling some interesting and unusual ones.
I started growing them over 15 years ago having first been introduced to Corokia x virgata ‘Yellow Wonder’ by a friend growing one by the seaside in Suffolk. I feel that Australasian shrubs and trees in general and Corokias in particular provide structure, all year interest, and their shapes and foliage bring an interesting dimension to any garden.