Name: golden penda, Xanthostemon chrysanthus.
Height: usually 8–15m, with dwarf varieties to just 3m.
Plant type: evergreen tree.
Foliage: glossy dark green leaves.
Climate: prefers frost-free warm temperate, sub-tropical and tropical climates.
Soil: prefers deep, moist but well-drained soil enriched with compost.
Position: full sun to part shade.
Flowering: showy golden yellow flowers (similar to a eucalypt) appear in profusion in summer and autumn.
Feeding: apply controlled release fertiliser for native plants twice a year.
Watering: water regularly during establishment and dry weather.
Golden penda is a popular tree in frost-free areas, with showy golden flowers and glossy evergreen foliage. With a tall and narrow form, it can also be pruned as a hedge or large shrub. The golden flowers appear in summer and autumn with a mass of stamen, similar to a gum tree (Eucalyptus sp.) or bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.).
A popular screening plant used for hedging, golden penda also makes a stunning windbreak or specimen tree. The golden flowers attract birds, bees and other beneficial insects while the glossy evergreen foliage screens out prying eyes and harsh winds.
Water regularly during establishment and whenever the weather is dry. Golden penda prefers a moist, but free draining soil. Regular watering improves flowering and performance.
Apply a controlled release fertiliser for native plants each year in spring and autumn.
Prune only to remove unwanted or damaged growth or to maintain a more compact shape or overall size.
An Australian native, golden penda is usually pest and disease free although scale can be a problem in some areas. Treat with Eco Oil or Pest Oil if necessary.
Although it can be propagated by seed, golden penda is usually propagated by cuttings to ensure new plants are identical to the parent plant in height, shape and flowering performance.
Bottlebrush (Callistemon): a close relative to golden penda with varieties suited to all climates.
Lilly pilly: wonderful native screening or hedging plants for most gardens and climates.
Grevillea: some of the best bird-attracting plants for gardens big and small.
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