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Hebe Rakaiensis or Hebe Rakai
One of the most sought-after varieties of Hebes, Hebe Rakaiensis, also known as Rakai, is a compact, rounded, evergreen shrub with white summer flowers. Native to New Zealand, this cultivar is resilient, hardy and easy to grow.
Small, spear-shaped, glossy green leaves form a dome-shaped shrub. The dense, spiky foliage with a bushy habit provides year-round interest, but looks most showy in the summer, when the flowering season starts. From early summer to early autumn, the Rakaiensis variety of Hebe is teeming with short spikes of dainty, pure white flowers.
Low-growing and adaptable, Hebe Rakaiensis tolerates most conditions, including some pollution. It thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers moist, well-drained soil, poor to moderately fertile. With an average growth rate, Rakai can stay compact even when fully mature, with an ultimate height of 50 centimetres to 1 metre and width of 1 to 1.5 metres.
Fully hardy in all of Britain and Ireland, this dwarf shrub can get through severe UK winters without any sheltering. It’s not prone to diseases or affected by pests, and its all-around great value is the reason why Rakai is a recipient of the Award of Garden Merit by Royal Horticultural society.
One of the most appealing features of Hebes is their textured, evergreen foliage and perfectly rounded form. Contrary to the popular belief, the bushy, dome-like habit of this cultivar requires no pruning to keep its attractive form. Easy to care for, Hebe Rakaiensis requires little maintenance to stay healthy and good-looking.
A popular evergreen flowering shrub, Hebe Rakaiensis is truly a multifaceted plant. Ideal as a part of beds and borders and hedges, this cultivar flourishes when planted in a garden or a container. The glossy evergreen foliage adds texture and structure to borders, and the prolific display of delicate white flowers in the summer adds a splash of colour to a low evergreen hedge. It works great planted en masse with other Hebe varieties such as Hebe Wiri Mist, especially in contrast with variegated cultivars like Hebe franciscana Variegata. Its tolerance for salt and pollution make Rakai a great choice for city or coastal gardens as well.
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