Corokia are a wonderful and varied group of shrubs, with interesting colour and distinctive form. They are also very useful in landscaping as they are very tough withstanding dry, cold and windy conditions.
Corokias are generally small to medium sized shrubs making them a great choice in situations where smaller shrubs are preferred. There is quite a diverse range from the very small growing Corokia cotoneaster cultivars to the larger Corokia x Virgata cultivars such as Yellow Wonder and Red Wonder.
The family of Corokia have the same distinctive look with all varieties having variations on silvery colouring, and a wirey look. The silvery undersides of the leaves give the bush an overall silvery hue, however there is still huge variation in the overall colour of the leaves. For a very silvery shrub you could choose Corokia cotoneaster, or there is the wonderful chocolate brown of Corokia Frosted Chocolate, and the refreshing green of Corokia Geentys Green. There is as much choice in the colour variations as there is in size and stature of the mature bush. Even the stem colours add interest with very silvery new growth and quite dark older growth adding to the stark contrast.
Corokia produce masses of bright yellow star shaped flowers throughout spring and summer. These put on a spectacular display of colour and add interest, brightening up the shrubbery beautifully. The flowers are plentiful and help the environment by feeding bees.
Following flowering, Corokias produce masses of berries that are brightly coloured and very ornamental. Corokia Yellow Wonder produce yellow-orange berries and Red Wonder red berries. These are the two varieties most noted for their berries however all the other varieties produce berries to some degree. Native birds love feeding on these berries, which will contribute to attracting and retaining native birds in your garden.
Corokia is a versatile shrub. It will perform well in most locations, ranging from coastal to inland. It prefers full sun, but will also do okay in shady positions. Most Corokia are particularly tolerant to windy positions and dry conditions. Salt wind will not bother them, making them a very good choice for coastal plantings. There are also alpine versions of Corokia and most will thrive in any situation from coast to mountains.
Left alone Corokias will stay reasonably compact and maintain good form. Clipping from time to time will greatly enhance their appearance. They also respond well to strong clipping making them an ideal shrub for shaping or hedging. They form an interesting and beautifully dense hedge, from very low to medium height. The small dense leaves means the hedge will remain tight and compact and have wonderful colour for many years.
New Zealand native
Hedge 50cm - 2m
Lightly trim for shelter or screen 1.5m - 2m
Leave untrimmed for shrub 1-3m
Ornamental berries Red - Yellow
Flowers - Yellow, spring-summer
Prefers full sun, some varieties are fine in shade