Schemes & Themes using Liddle Wonder Plants
Clianthus Kaka King
Clianthus puniceus 'Kaka King'
Who says native plants don’t have showy flowers?

One look at this large flowered beauty and anyone will realise that some New Zealand natives are very showy indeed. In spring, for a period of six weeks or so, the arching branches of Clianthus Kaka King drip with gorgeous scarlet flowers, their shape just like a big parrots beak, or over-size ear rings, depending on your imagination. Its a mighty fine shrub to use as a feature in a sunny part of the garden and if given a moderate pruning soon after flowering it will remain bushy and handsome.

Kaka King can be used in a mixed shrub border and is flamboyant enough that it can fit happily into the most cutting edge of Pacific Rim style gardens. It can be trained to spread out against a wall, which is how they grow it in England, or persuaded to grow on a tall trunk with weeping branches. Try it with kowhais and abutilons - like them it is a good attractor of nectar eating native birds such as tui, bellbirds and waxeyes. It also mixes well with bold foliage plants - Cordyline Emerald Goddess in mild winter areas, or Cordyline Red Star or Purple Tower where winters are frosty and with native grasses such as Carex testacea and Chionochloa flavicans.

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