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Colletia armata ‘Rosea’

Another one of our beloved South American weirdos. It grows into a little tree (large shrub? – 12 – 15ft after 20 years), is one of the prickliest plants in the world, is perfectly hardy, flowers (masses of little pinky white bells) in summer and winter, is covered in butterflies (when it flowers), the flowers are strongly almond scented, it sulks in a pot but stick it in the ground and it actually grows surprisingly fast.

A real test of your Creative Maintenance abilities – to make it into a single trunked, broad, dense, short little tree that smells out of this world delicious. If you like marzipan. Alternatively you could create an entirely impenetrable hedge. Removal of little dead bits with a pair of long nosed snippers and some extra heavy duty motor bike gauntlets, is recommended. A full suit of armour wouldn’t go amiss. The leaves are tiny and sparse and this is technically deciduous but you’d never notice.

Reasonably well drained soil in plenty of light.

Introduced from Patagonia in the 1880s, we propagate this from cuttings. We think the original material came from Wakehurst Place in Sussex.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.

Hardiness traffic light green

Hardiness level Green

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Hardy anywhere in Britain below approximately 1000ft (300m)

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.