Mountain Guitar Plant (Lomatia polymorpha)

$34.95

Lomatia polymorpha, commonly known as the Mountain Guitar Plant, is an evergreen shrub in the family Protaceae endemic to Tasmania. It is a visually striking plant known for its linear leaves and white, cream-coloured or greenish flowers.

The Mountain Guitar Plant is a widespread species found approximately south of the Pieman River and west of the Derwent River in subalpine woodlands, lowland scrubby vegetation in wetter areas, occasionally in rainforest areas, from sea level to 1,200 m. Hybrids often occur where the range overlaps with L. tinctoria in the regions surrounding Lake St Clair.

Here is some useful plant-growing information for Lomatia tinctoria:

Tree Height and Spread: Lomatia polymorpha can grow as a large shrub or small tree, reaching 2.5 to 4 meters. It may grow taller in ideal conditions, reaching up to 6 meters. The spread of the plant varies, typically forming a rounded canopy with a spread of 1 to 2 meters.

Preferred Soil Type and pH: Lomatia polymorpha thrives in well-drained, fertile soils that are slightly acidic to neutral pH. A rich, sandy loam or organic and fertile soil, is ideal for its growth. It is essential to avoid waterlogged conditions, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot and other problems. Additionally, adding organic matter, such as compost, can help improve soil fertility and moisture-retaining capacity.

Climate and Environmental Requirements: Lomatia polymorpha is well-suited to temperate and cool climates. It prefers moderate temperatures and can tolerate mild frosts once established. It is commonly found in areas with high rainfall but can adapt to drier conditions with regular watering. Protecting the plant from strong winds is advisable, as it can cause damage to the foliage.

Light Requirements: Lomatia polymorpha prefers a position in full sun or partial shade. It can tolerate some shade, but flowering may be reduced in areas with less sunlight. Adequate light is essential for promoting healthy growth and enhancing the vibrant colour of its flowers.

Watering and Fertilising: Lomatia polymorpha requires regular watering, particularly during dry spells or drought. It prefers moist, but not waterlogged, soil. Watering should be done deeply, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Applying a layer of organic mulch, such as composted bark, around the base of the plant can help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature. Fertiliser application is generally unnecessary when planted in a high-quality potting mix, as Lomatia polymorpha can thrive in nutrient-rich soils. However, a balanced, native slow-release fertiliser and a small amount of blood and bone can be applied during the growing season.

Pruning and Maintenance: Lomatia polymorpha generally requires minimal pruning. However, removing dead or damaged branches can help maintain the plant’s health and appearance. Pruning should be done after flowering to avoid removing potential flower buds. Regular inspection for pests and diseases is recommended, although this species is generally considered resistant to significant issues.

Propagation: A hardy species in cultivation, Lomatia polymorpha can be grown readily from seeds or cuttings and grows well in most soils and aspects.

Uses: Lomatia polymorpha is a popular ornamental plant, valued for its striking flowers and attractive foliage. It can be grown as a standalone specimen plant, in mixed borders, or as part of a cool climate native garden. Its flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, adding to its ecological value. Its cut flowers can also be used in floral arrangements and have a wonderful perfume.

Lomatia polymorpha is an attractive evergreen shrub or small tree that prefers well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral soils. It thrives in temperate climates and requires regular watering, particularly during dry periods. This is a showy and intriguing plant for cool-climate native and ornamental gardens.

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