Catas parviflora Juss. ex Lam.
Embothrium gilliesii Meisn.
Embothrium lanceolatum Ruiz & Pav.
Embothrium valdivianum Gand.
Ixora coccinea Comm. ex Lam.
Common Name: Chilean Flameflower
Embothrium coccineum is an evergreen shrub or small tree with ascending, sparsely branched stems. The plant often produces suckers, and can form thickets[
]. Growing up to 9 metres tall in the wild, in cultivation in the UK some plants have reached 15 metres[
]. Large trees in the wild can have a bole 30 - 40cm in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials. It is often grown as an ornamental, valued especially for its floral display.
S. America central and southern Chile, Argentina
Open places, open forests, often forming extensive thickets; at elevations from sea level to the timber line[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Embothrium coccineum can be surprisingly cold-tolerant - given a warm, sheltered position they can generally withstand temperatures falling to aroun -10 to -15°c and there are reports of narrow-leaved forms of the plant having withstood short-lived lows to around -30°c[
]. The plant grows in semi-arid areas (with a dry season of up to 5 months) and a mean annual rainfall of 400 - 800mm; it is also found in more humid areas with year-round rainfall[
Requires a warm, sheltered fairly sunny position, growing best in a light, deep, well-drained soil with a neutral to acid pH[
]. Plants are intolerant of lime in the soil[
]. Plants are hardier in soils of moderate fertility - if the soil is too fertile the plant produces lush growth that is more likely to experience damage in the winter[
]. Within its native range the plant can be found growing in very exposed positions close to the sea - though there it is reduced to a small bush[
Any prunig is best carried out after flowering[
A decoction of the bark or leaves is used to cure glandular affections[
]. An infusion or the smoke of the plant cures dental neuralgia, and is also used to cicatrize wounds[
The tree yields a prettily marked timber which, owing to the scarcity of large specimens, is mostly used in turnery[
Seed - sow spring in a lightly shaded position in containers. Germination is best at 13 - 16°c[
]. Prick the seedlings out into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow on for their first winter in a greenhouse or frame. Plant out in spring after the last expected frosts and consider giving the plants some protection from the cold for their first winter or two outdoors.
Division of root suckers. (These can be stimulated into production by scarring the roots)[