Crinodendron hookerianum known as the Chilean lantern tree, is an evergreen tree in the family Elaeocarpaceae. It is endemic to Chile. A beautiful, ornamental, evergreen shrub or small tree named after the lantern-shaped, crimson to deep carmine-pink flowers, suspended from the undersides of its branches from May to August.
It is perfect for a partially shady woodland garden with humus-rich acid soil as it likes to keep its roots cool. I have no idea what my soil PH is (I know I should test it) but it is heavy and stony and holds moisture.
The flower buds develop in the autumn and can readily be seen over winter. The rich crimson lantern or urn shaped fleshy flowers are grooved and toothed at the bottom.
Cold winds can cause some browning or scorching of the leaves over winter and as this is when the flowers form they can be badly affected. Last year my tree had hardly any flowers on it, but this year it is magnificent.
I need to cut this back hard this year as it is not growing in a very neat shape, though that might mean the loss of flowers next year. I shall take some hardwood cuttings in July once it has stopped flowering just in case.
If you grow this shrub/tree and have any advice on how to prune it please let me know in the comments. Thanks.
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An interesting one, Jude. Love the seedy things!
Different for sure and the pearls are pretty. I wonder if birds eat the berries?
Oooh, I don’t think I know this one. I’m guessing it wouldn’t love being in Yorkshire.
It’s not keen on it being too cold, but can be kept in a conservatory.
Haven’t got one of those …
What beautiful flowers it has.
Unusual, but not attractive to pollinators it seems.
The flowers remind me of Fuchsia buds…do they open at all? How do pollinators get in?
Hi Chris, the flowers are open at the bottom, they are quite firm with a waxy texture. I actually have never see any pollinators on them.
First a glorious blaze of red, then little pearls. Wonderful! However, if it won’t grow in Yorkshire, then it certainly wouldn’t grow in northern New England, in Maine. 😉
Not unless you have a conservatory or greenhouse 😑
And I have neither. 😉 Guess I’ll have to admire them from afar.
A hard colour to dress a garden. I am surprised at the difficulty in growing from seed as there seems to be a lot in a pod
Coming from Chile they probably need a particular environment.
Those red “lanterns” look to me more like Bleeding Hearts. And what a surprise to see pearls peeking from cracked hulls. Delightful.
It’s quite an exotic looking shrub.
I don’t think I have ever seen or heard of that tree, Jude. But I like it a lot.
Best wishes, Pete. x
It’s interesting and lovely when it flowers well like this year.
I saw the seed ‘dangles’ on a tree in Moville, Ireland and thought they looked like earrings, especially when the pearl-like seeds burst out. It’s wonderful to see them at other times of the year, and finally find out what it is.
It’s quite a curiosity. I like how the dangling flowers move in the breeze.