(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 5 feet
Hardiness Zone: 8b
Other Names: Sunshine Conebush, Sunshine Protea
This flowering shrub, in the Protea family, produces amazing red bracts over contrasting deep purple-black foliage; an interesting, upswept habit that is well branched; avoid phosphorus fertilizers
Ebony Conebush features showy creamy white daisy flowers with yellow overtones and burgundy bracts at the ends of the branches from late winter to late spring. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has attractive deep purple-variegated dark gray foliage with hints of burgundy which emerges chartreuse in spring. The oval leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding red in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The brick red branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.
Ebony Conebush is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Ebony Conebush is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Ebony Conebush will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.
This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for poor, alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.
Ebony Conebush makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.