Springfire Lehua – Metrosideros collina ‘Springfire’
We’re excited about a number of small trees we are bringing into the nursery next week.
Metrosideros collina ‘Springfire’ is a luscious, evergreen flowering tree or shrub for mild coastal climates like San Francisco, Berkeley, and Stinson Beach. You may recognize the genus name, Metrosideros, from the common coastal street tree, Metrosideros excelsa, also known as the New Zealand Christmas tree or pohutukawa. Well, erase that image from your mind: Springfire has much showier orangey-red blossoms and lusher fuzzy green foliage. Metrosideros is also the genus in which the ubiquitous Hawaiian native tree, ohi’a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) resides.
(Take a look at the picture above on Flickr.)
Pure sand, rich loam, and even clay soils are suitable for this species, and fertility is rarely an issue. The more sun it gets, the more it will bloom. Exposure to salty sea wind is no problem. Once established, it won’t demand a lot of water, but will certainly grow more quickly with regular irrigation. It also makes a nice hedge.
(Check out the above photo on Flickr.)