Westringia Blue Gem ['WES03'] PP25,674 (Blue Gem Coast Rosemary) - A beautiful hybrid of the Australian Coast Rosemary shrub that has a compact upright form to 4 to 6 feet tall (stretching a bit taller in shade) by 3 to 4 feet wide with foliage composed of narrow 3/4 inch long olive-green leaves on dark maroon-brown stems. The vibrant bluish-purple flowers erupt in profusion in spring but are also present scattered on the plant throughout much of the rest of the year.
Plant in full sun to light shade and irrigate infrequently to occasionally. Like other Westringia cultivars this plant is tolerant of most soils so long as they drain and situations including coastal exposure, drought, inland heat, and humidity. Hardy to at least to 25° F and likely a bit lower - possibly to as low as 18° F for short durations. Prune to shape once or twice a year to keep it dense. It can be kept as a smaller shrub and with more regular trimming and makes an excellent compact low hedge to around 3 feet tall - tolerates this pruning treatment far better than the similar and larger cultivar 'Wynyabbie Gem'. With its long blooming period this plant also will make a great landscape specimen in the garden.
Westringia Blue Gem plant comes from the controlled breeding work conducted by University of Sydney's Plant Breeding Institute in October 2005 and was the result of the cross of two unnamed hybrids, Westringia 'x2003.9.1' and W. 'x2003.9.3'. Under the cultivar name 'WES03' it received Plant Breeder's Rights in Australia in May 2013 and US Plant Patent PP25,674 in July 2015.
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 to name honor Dr. Johan Peter Westring (1753-1833), a botanist and physician to King Charles XIII of Sweden who was a student of Linnaeus.
We thought this plant would likely replace Westringia 'Wynyabbie Gem' in our product mix but we continue to grow both and also grow the variegated selection Westringia 'Wynyabbie Highlight' as well as the species Westringia fruticosa and several of its cultivars, including the variegated forms Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light' and Westringia fruticosa 'Smokey', the low growing Westringia fruticosa Mundi, the even lower growing Westringia fruticosa Low Horizon ['WES06'] and the compact gray Westringia fruticosa Gray Box.
Information about Westringia Blue Gem ['WES03'] PP25,674 displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.