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Products > Lagunaria patersonia
Lagunaria patersonia - Primrose Tree

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Malvaceae (w/Bombacaceae & Sterculeacea)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pink
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [L. patersonii]
Height: 20-30 feet
Width: 10-20 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Lagunaria patersonia (Primrose Tree) - This is an evergreen tree that grows 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide. The oval leaves are olive green above and gray beneath. Flowers are pink fading to white and bloom in the summer to fall. Following bloom, fuzzy brown capsules form and hang on the tree for a long time. Best in full sun, little watering needed. It is adaptable to seaside conditions and will take temperatures down to about 25 degrees F. A second common name is 'Cow Itch Tree'. The genus name is in reference to this plant's resemblance to Lagunaea (a genus now subsumed into Hibiscus) that was named to honor Andrés Laguna de Segovia, a 16th century Spanish doctor. The specific epithet, long listed as "patersonii", is named for Colonel William Paterson, a Scottish soldier, explorer, Lieutenant governor, botanist and early settler of Tasmania. The spelling of this epithet has been the subject of some discussion and current thought is that the spelling "patersonii" though widely misapplied, is incorrect and the valid spelling is "patersonia". The name for this tree was originally published as Hibiscus patersonius by Henry Andrew in 1803 in the periodical Botanists' Repository for New and Rare Plants. In 1831, when George Don published his General History of the Dichlamydeous Plants he disagreed with the tree being classified as a Hibiscus and renamed it in the new genus Lagunaria. For some reason the misnomer patersonii became popular and stuck in the nursery trade, especially in the U.S.  This description is based on research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We also try to incorporate comments received from others and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Lagunaria patersonia.