Corokia : National Collection

PlantHeritage_logo_Green_318x356My passion for the Corokia genus started fifteen years ago. (See Blog post April 20th, 2015.) It was a natural progression from growing Mediterranean plants which I have always been drawn to through my background and the landscapes of the Middle East, Italy and Southern France .

The first Corokia I acquired was Corokia x virgata ‘Yellow Wonder’ because it looked like an olive tree. Also some of the smaller leaved cultivars reminded me of ‘buxus’ and are in fact perfect alternatives to ‘box’. (See Blog post December 13th, 2015.) In fact many Mediterranean plants just like Corokia are evergreen shrubs that are drought tolerant,  require good light and drainage and can thrive in poor soils.

Corokia is a genus of three species of evergreen shrubs endemic to the forests and rocky areas of New Zealand. They have alternate, obovate to lance shaped leaves, and small star like yellow flowers followed by red, orange or yellow berries.


  • Corokia buddlejoides
  • Corokia buddlejoides ‘Coco’
  • Corokia cotoneaster
  • Corokia cotoneaster ‘Boundary Hill’
  • Corokia cotoneaster ‘Ohau Yellow’
  • Corokia cotoneaster ‘Swale Stream’
  • Corokia cotoneaster ‘Wanaka’
  • Corokia macrocarpa
  • Corokia x virgata
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Banana Royal’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Bronze King’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Bronze Lady’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Cheesemanii’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Coppershine’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘County Park Lemon’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘County Park Orange’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Emerald and Jade’ hedge
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Envy’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Everglades’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Frosted Chocolate’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Geenty’s Ghost’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Geenty’s Ghost’ hedge
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Geenty’s Green’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Gold Stars’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Griff’s Green’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Havering’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Limey’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Mangatangi’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Maori Green’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Maori Silver’
  • Corokia parviflora
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Pink Delight’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Red Wonder’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Silver Ghost’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Sunsplash’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Sunsprite’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Yellow Wonder’
  • Corokia x virgata ‘Welsh Whiskey’

Mike Geenty (1937-2005):
A Corokia Legacy

If the stamp of immortality as a plantsman is to have a plant named after you, then Mike Geenty is well assured of his legacy. As far as the Corokia genus is concerned, he selected and introduced four different cultivars: the best known and best selling one in the UK is Corokia x virgata ‘Frosted Chocolate’; Corokia  x virgata ‘Geenty’s Green’, though very popular in New Zealand, is relatively unknown in the UK, as is the beautiful grey-leaved  Corokia x virgata ‘Geenty’s Ghost’. As for the lovely cultivar Corokia x virgata ‘Emerald and Jade’, I will be introducing it to the UK for the very first time thanks to Lyndale Nursery in New Zealand.

It was said of Mike Geenty that “he could put roots on a crowbar!”

Born in Waipawa, south of Hastings in New Zealand, Mike took up a horticultural apprenticeship soon after leaving college. His interest in plants and gardening came from his maternal grandmother, grandma Tierney who gave him gladioli bulbs to plant thus starting him off on his long career and passion as a plant propagator. He ended up working for Hamilton City Council in 1974, staying there twenty eight years. He was presented with many awards for his achievements as plantsman and propagator.

Apart from cultivars of the Corokia genus, Mike selected and introduced many other plants: Coprosma ‘Coppersheen’, Lophomyrtus ‘Red Dragon’ and Lophomyrtus ‘Red Cherry’ to name but a few. Plant lovers all over the world owe Mike Geenty a great debt of gratitude.

Article in The Plantsman (RHS magazine)


Corokia versus box hedge news story

2 thoughts on “Corokia : National Collection

  1. Mona chérie,
    J’ai enfin pris le temps d’admirer ton jardin sur ton blog. C’est fantastique et je te félicite.
    J’espère avoir l’occasion de venir l’admirer en nature.
    Je t’embrasse.

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