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Eremophila calorhabdos: Spiked Eremophila

Why Grow Eremophila calorhabdos

One of the main reasons I like Eremophila calorhabdos is because it is one of those plants that looks great even when it’s not in flower. That is of course if you follow one golden rule. You have to prune it, a simple task with a sharp pair of secateurs.


Nearly all Australian native plants look a lot neater and tidier when pruned after flowering and Eremophila calorhabdos is no exception. This plant responds very well to pruning so a good prune will reap the best results. If you do this you will be rewarded with lots of tall vertical branches that will be covered with pinky red tubular flowers during the following winter and spring.

Another great feature about this plant is that it is very easy to propagate from cuttings and I’ll show you how to do this easily at home, without any specialist equipment in a future article.

Eremophila calorhabdos flowers

Source: Plantmark

Ideal Conditions for Growing Eremophila calorhabdos

The plant itself grows naturally in Western Australia, it prefers reasonable drainage and tends to grow quicker in lighter type soils but will also grow in heavier soils. It likes full sun and is obviously a very drought tolerant plant. It is also a great plant to place in a confined area as it grows tall and narrow to about 2 m and can easily be pruned to form a long narrow hedge.

One thing that does amaze me though about this plant is that it is rarely seen in nurseries as it is a very garden worthy plant that appears to be very underused in gardens.

Looking for more Eremophila species and cultivars to grow? Check out our list below:

Maybe it’s not everyone's cup of tea but if anyone’s tried it let me know what you think as I reckon Eremophila calorhabdos deserves to become more mainstream.

Last Updated on January 25, 2024

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About the author 

Nathan Schwartz

Hey, I'm Nathan Schwartz, team member at Aussie Green Thumb since 2020. I have a passion for edible plants and Australian native plants, both in the garden and in the Aussie bush.

As an avid traveller and camper, I love seeing the different landscapes and flora that Australia has to offer, and try to incorporate this into my own daily living.

Whether I am living on the road, in an apartment or have a big backyard working with practical and usable gardens in small spaces is my specialty.

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  1. Thank you for all of your helpful information regarding the Eremophila calorhabdos. I recently acquired two of these emu plants. They are in pots and approximately 2 feet tall. Unfortunately it is Winter here in California; we are having dreary rainy days and not much sunshine.
    My question is, how would I prune these plants once Spring arrives? Do I just chop off some of the top of the plants or is there a specific method to their pruning?

  2. Hi Ron,

    If you’ve grown rosemary or lavender, then pruning Eremophila shouldn’t be too complicated. They’ve got similar traits. You can leave them to their own devices without pruning, but you’ll end up with leggy, bare, bases, and nothing other than cutting back to the ground will fix it.

    Depending on the shape you want in the end (and you can achieve a few different things with E. calorhabdos) then the pruning technique will differ.

    Method #1 would be to prune JUST LAST YEAR’S GROWTH in early spring once the weather dries out a bit. This will eventually create a denser dome, with fresh new flowering growth each year, and a pleasing structure for winter.

    Method #2 is to prune ALTERNATELY, almost as though you’re pruning a fruit bush. Down to the lowest green growth on half of the stems one year, and then repeat that on the other half the following year (spring or summer pruning is fine here). The idea is to create a more natural looking plant (like the example at the top of this article) without it becoming too leggy over time.

    It’s really just up to you and what you want to get out of this gorgeous Aussie native.

    Best regards,

    Nathan Schwartz

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