Crinodendron Hookerianum, more commonly known as Chilean Lantern Tree, is a very attractive evergreen small ornamental tree that can also be grown as a shrub. With distinct deep red flowers and dark green foliage, this ornamental tree offers multiple seasons of interest. In the late spring to early summer, the eye-catching display of flowers makes it easy to understand why this evergreen cultivar is called the Chilean Lantern Tree. Borne on hanging stalks, bright red lantern-shaped blossoms completely envelop this shrub. Narrow, glossy leaves beautifully contrast with the crimson flowers. The buds that blossoms unfold from appear in the autumn, adding interest during the colder months of the year.
For Crinodendron Hookerianum to thrive, it needs to grow in a nutrient-rich, moist but well-drained, acidic soil. Its roots need to be kept cool and shaded, but it will tolerate both full sun and partial shade. Generally pest and disease free. Naturally occurring in a sunnier and warmer part of the globe, Chilean Lantern Tree will not fare well in areas where winter temperatures drop below -10 degrees in the winter. Even though it is considered fully hardy in the United Kingdom, this cultivar will appreciate a sheltered position, away from cold and drying winds.
Although a Chilean native, this cultivar was introduced to Britain in 1848 and has been a favourite ever since. Its gorgeous looks and good constitution have earned Crinodendron Hookerianum the prestigious Award of Garden Merit by Royal Horticultural Society, a sure sign of its great performance in the garden.
Initially slow growing, this ornamental evergreen shrub can achieve an ultimate height of 4 metres, with 2.5 to 4 metres in width. This showy cultivar requires little to no pruning to maintain a splendid shape. Routine removal of dead and damaged stems should be done in the late spring.
Treasured by gardeners, Chilean Lantern Tree is often planted in wall side borders, where it can be sheltered from frosts and winds. Unless grown as a focus of interest in the garden, this cultivar can be paired with acid-loving shrubs, such as magnolia or rhododendron.