Westringia fruticosa Low Horizon ['WES06'] PP27,898 (Low Horizon Coast Rosemary) - This low spreading evergreen shrub grows to only 1 foot tall by 4 feet wide with short internodes holding linear dark gray-green leaves that are nearly 3/4 of an inch long by only 1/8 inch wide - quite delicate! The small 1/2 inch wide white flowers bloom along the branches off and on throughout the year with an early spring peak.
Plant in full to part sun or in bright filtered light. Drought tolerant but keeps better color and remains more dense when given occasional spring and summer irrigation. Hardy to about 20° F. This was the smallest and tightest growing of the Westringia cultivars we trialed. While not as lush growing as the larger cultivar Westringia fruticosa Mundi['NFL25'], its smaller size could be useful in some situations. We still think the taller and wider Westringia fruticosa Mundi with its larger white flowers that are showier over a longer period is the best groundcover cultivar for larger areas, but Low Horizon certainly has a place in the garden as well.
The species, 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.
Westringia fruticosa Low Horizon is a selection made by Graham Brown of NuFlora, a cooperative venture with the University of Sydney. It was chosen for its low growth habit. We have been growing Westringia fruticosa since 1984 and it has long proven itself to be a useful drought tolerant and long lived plant in the landscape and one that excels at the beach, where tolerates wind and salt laden air and often blooms year-round. The one drawback has been that the species plant often gets too tall, so this groundcover selection should be a nice plant for a smaller garden. We are a licensed to propagate this plant that has US Plant Patent number PP27,898 issued in April 2017 and marketed in the US by Dig Plants of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.
Though in its patent application it was noted to not have the same parentage, it was said to most closely resemble the cultivar Westringia fruticosa Mundi, but differed in that 'WES06' (Low Horizon) has a shorter plant height than 'NFL25' (Mundi) and also had smaller flowers and leaves. We also note that Low Horizon has a shorter flowering period. We first received a trial plant of this cultivar, then being called "Mini Mundi" or "Gray Ground" in May 2013 and we put our first plant in the garden in November 2014 - in the spring of 2020 this plant was measured at only 1 foot tall but a full 4 feet wide, and it had never previously been pruned. We also grow the species, Westringia fruticosa, the low sprawling large flowering cultivar Westringia fruticosa Mundi, the compact gray Westringia fruticosa Gray Box, the variegated cultivars Westringia fruticosa 'Morning Light' and Westringia fruticosa 'Smokey', as well as the hybrids Westringia 'Wynyabbie Gem', Westringia 'Wynyabbie Highlight' and Westringia Blue Gem.
Information about Westringia fruticosa Low Horizon ['WES06'] PP27,898 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.