Treasure Hunting

|Bush Allamanda|

|Bush Allamanda|

You know the feeling you get when you find that hole in the wall restaurant in some forgotten neighborhood that serves the most amazing meal you've ever tasted and realize that the public hasn't discovered it yet.  There are no lines out the door or month long queues to get a reservation.  For the time being it'll be your little secret.  That's how I feel about plants.  There are so many out there waiting to be discovered or rediscovered.  Today's pick is a south american beauty known as Allamanda schottii or the Bush Allamanda.  This evergreen shrub can grow to 6' x 6', produces rich rouge flushed new foliage, and freshly energetic golden trumpet-like flowers.  Now mind you, she hails from tropical climes and should be considered an annual-only grower in most regions.  If you're lucky enough to reside in regions with average low temps ranging from 40-50 degrees farenheit or 4-10 celsius you can let her grow wild out of doors year round.  Strangely enough, there's one thriving in my garden in Los Angeles.  I feel so lucky.