Escallonia rubra

Escallonia rubra: The Evergreen Shrub with Vibrant Clusters of Red Flowers

Escallonia rubra is a species of evergreen shrub in the family Escalloniaceae. It is native to southern Chile and neighboring areas of Argentina. This stunning shrub is highly regarded for its glossy, elliptical, serrated evergreen leaves and its clusters of small, red flowers. It is a popular ornamental plant and is often used as a hedge or specimen plant in gardens and landscapes.

Escallonia rubra is known for its hardiness and ability to tolerate a wide range of conditions, making it a preferred choice for both experienced and novice gardeners. Escallonia rubra is generally categorized as a shrub, but it can also be grown as a climber. It is a spreading shrub that usually grows to be 0.8 to 1.0 m tall, but can reach a height of 3.6 m. Other common names for Escallonia rubra include Red Escallonia, Redclaws, Chilean Bellflower, Firethorn, and Scarlet Escallonia.

The discovery and classification of Escallonia rubra can be traced back to the renowned botanists Hipólito Ruiz López (1754-1815) and José Antonio Pavon (1754-1844). In their influential work titled “Flora Peruviana, et Chilensis,” published in 1805, they documented and introduced Escallonia rubra to the scientific community and the world at large. This groundbreaking publication shed light on the captivating attributes and botanical significance of this remarkable evergreen shrub. Since then, Escallonia rubra has garnered attention and admiration for its striking red flowers and glossy foliage, captivating the hearts of horticulturists and garden enthusiasts worldwide.

Characteristics and Description

Escallonia rubra showcases glossy, elliptical leaves with serrated edges that retain their vibrant green color throughout the year. These evergreen leaves provide an attractive backdrop to the clusters of flowers. The flower heads are supported by a reddish-purple calyx, which features a hairy and glandular texture. Each cluster can contain anywhere from 4 to 40 flower heads, adding a burst of vivid red color to the shrub. The striking contrast between the glossy leaves and the vibrant flowers creates a visually captivating display.

Flowers and Fragrance

The red flowers of Escallonia rubra are a prominent feature of this shrub. While they may be small in size, their collective impact is remarkable. The clusters of flowers, supported by the reddish-purple calyx, create a visually stunning spectacle. However, Escallonia rubra is not known for its fragrance or aroma.

Flowering Season

Escallonia rubra typically blooms in late spring to early summer, although the exact timing can vary depending on the local climate and growing conditions. During this period, the shrub becomes adorned with clusters of vibrant red flowers, attracting the attention of pollinators and adding a splash of color to the surrounding landscape.

Cultivation of Escallonia rubra:

Sunlight: Escallonia rubra thrives in full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. It is recommended to provide the shrub with at least six hours of direct sunlight daily to ensure optimal growth and flowering.

Watering: Regular watering is essential for Escallonia rubra, especially during the summer months when the plant is actively growing. The soil should be kept consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Deep watering at the base of the shrub is preferable to promote healthy root development.

Soil: Escallonia rubra is relatively adaptable to different soil types but prefers well-drained soil. The soil should be slightly acidic to neutral in pH. If necessary, amend the soil with organic matter to improve drainage and fertility.

Pests and Diseases: Escallonia rubra is generally resilient against pests and diseases. However, it may occasionally encounter issues such as aphids, whiteflies, and scale insects. These pests can be controlled through various methods, including the use of insecticidal soap or neem oil. Regular monitoring and early intervention are crucial to prevent infestations.


Escallonia rubra can be propagated through stem cuttings. The best time to take cuttings is in spring or summer. Select a non-flowering stem and cut a 4-6 inch (10-15 cm) piece. Remove the leaves from the lower half of the cutting, dip the cut end in the rooting hormone, and plant it in a pot with a well-draining potting mix. Place the pot in a warm and shady location, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. After 4-6 weeks, the cutting should develop roots and can be transplanted into a larger pot or directly into the garden.

Escallonia rubra is a remarkable evergreen shrub known for its glossy leaves and clusters of vibrant red flowers. Its hardiness, adaptability to various conditions, and low-maintenance nature make it an excellent choice for gardeners seeking a visually appealing and reliable plant. With proper care, including adequate sunlight, regular watering, well-drained soil, and vigilance against pests and diseases, Escallonia rubra can thrive and bring a touch of beauty to any garden or landscape.

Escallonia rubra
Escallonia rubra
Escallonia rubra
Escallonia rubra

How useful was this?

Click on a star to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Share This Page: