Article published in Issue 93 of For People and Plants.

The Kings Park Plant Development team has released its second Boronia hybrid, ‘Plum Bells’. This variety is a hybrid between the white bell-flowered form of Boronia heterophylla known as ‘Moonglow’ and B. megastigma, the famous highly fragrant brown and yellow-flowered species from the south-west of Western Australia.

Plum Bells WB 20 Wafex 1 (2) Rod Ockerby of Immij

Photo by Rod Ockerby

The flowers on ‘Plum Bells’ are bell shaped, similar to both its parents and different to the first release from the Boronia development program, ‘Magenta Stars’, which has star-shaped flowers. The colour of ‘Plum Bells’ is reminiscent of some of the brighter coloured fruit of the same name. ‘Plum Bells’ is spectacular in flower in the spring. It is highly suitable for container growing or in semi-shaded locations in the garden. Like most free flowering Boronia it responds to well-drained acid soils with good levels of organic mulch to 10cm, which keeps the roots cool.

Boronia 'Plum Bells' potted plant.

Photo by Ellen Davies

Very limited numbers of both ‘Plum Bells’ and ‘Magenta Stars’ will be available for purchase through the Friends of Kings Park plant sales from May 2016 .   Check availability on the plant sale list before the sale. Good numbers will be on sale in most major retail nursery outlets from spring 2016.