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Products > Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light'
Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light' - Coast Rosemary
Image of Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) (Mints)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Yellow/Chartreuse Foliage: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Year-round
Synonyms: [Westringia rosmariniformis 'Morning Light']
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light' (Coast Rosemary) - A small compact shrub that grows to 3 to 4 feet tall by 4 to 5 feet wide. The tightly crowded linear gray-green leaves have a cream colored variegation along the margins. The small white flowers are the same as those of the species, Westringia fruticosa, but while Westringia fruticosa can be in flower year-round in coastal gardens, this cultivar is a bit more shy to bloom and flowers are typically only seen in spring a good thing as the showiest aspect of this plant is the clean variegated foliage.

Plant in full sun or in bright filtered light. Will tolerate moderately dry growing conditions but looks best with some late spring and summer irrigation and can also be used in well-drained moist soils. Hardy to about 20 F we lost our first garden planting of this cultivar in the disastrous freeze of December 1990, when we experienced several nights at or below 20 F.

Westringia fruticosa is native to the coast of New South Wales where it can be seen hugging the cliffs and growing near the sand on the beach. The name for the genus was given to it by Sir James Edward Smith, an English botanist and founder of the Linnaean Society in 1788. The name honors Dr. Johan Peter Westring (1753-1833), a botanist and physician to King Charles XIII of Sweden who was a student of Linnaeus. The specific epithet comes from the Latin word 'frutico' meaning "to put forth shoots" or "become bushy", likely in reference to the dense bushiness of this species. This origins of this cultivar are not known but it was noted in 1981 as growing in a nursery in Canberra, Australia. We received our plants from Kathy Musial at the Huntington Botanic Garden and have been growing it since 1990.

We also grow the species Westringia fruticosa and another variegated cultivar Westringia fruticosa 'Smokey' and the low growing Westringia fruticosa Mundi and Westringia fruticosa Low Horizon, the compact gray Westringia fruticosa Gray Box, as well as the hybrids Westringia 'Wynyabbie Gem', Westringia 'Wynyabbie Highlight' and Westringia Blue Gem

This information about Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.