Crowea ‘Festival’


Family: Rutaceae

This plant is a hybrid between Crowea exalata and Crowea saligna and was a chance seedling in the garden of past Australian Plants Society members, Arthur and Irene Cooper.

It grows to 1.2 m high and up to 1 m across.

Crowea belong to the subgroup of Rutaceae that have simple and alternate leaves along with 5-petaled flowers.

In this cultivar, leaves are intermediate between the two species, leaves are to about 40 mm long by 6 mm wide, narrow-lanceolate.

Crowea spp. tend to have comparitively large but solitary flowers. In this cultivar, they are up to 3 cm across, in leaf axils, 5-petalled and usually range from pale to mid pink in colour. Flowers are usually seen in late summer through to mid-winter.

Fruit characteristics unknown but likely similar to the parent species. Fruit consists of a schizocarpic capsule which consist of cocci (woody segments) when it splits apart, to 7 mm long.

In the garden

Author’s Notes:

I have been growing Crowea ‘Festival’ for many years in my garden in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh. They grow to 1.2 metres high and produce flowers all year with the main flush in autumn.

The five petal bright pink flowers (see photo 1) make great cut flowers and this is an ideal way to keep the plant compact and bushy.

My plants are growing in a thin layer of topsoil over a clay sub soil and receive little additional watering once established. If I am going to lose this plant, it is during the first one or two years – too much water or a poorly drained position are the main reason they die. They are very hardy once established and grow best in a position out of the full afternoon sun.


Must be propagated from cuttings to main true-to-type form.

Other information

Crowea is a genus of 3 species – endemic to Australia – occurring in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. NSW currently has 2 species.

Crowea – Named in honour of James Crowe (1750 – 1807) (by botanist James Edward Smith in 1798), surgeon and botanist and twice Mayor of Norwich.

‘Festival’: after the Ku-ring-gai Council ‘Festival of Wildflowers’ held at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Gardens St Ives, a northern Sydney suburb.

Gardening with Angus – Crowea hybrid ‘Festival’ – Waxflower profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/crowea-hybrid-festival-crowea/

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke