The common name of this plant, wax flower, is due to the waxy appearance of the petals; develops a small shrub, which hardly exceeds 2-3 meters in height if grown in the ground. The botanical name is chamelaucium, the most widespread species is c. uncinatum; a dozen species of evergreen shrubs originating in southern Australia belong to the genus.
The plants of wax flower they are rounded, with thin well branched stems that give rise to a dense shrub; the foliage is needle-like, slightly fleshy and leathery, contains essential oils which make it very fragrant if crushed, with a hint of spices and lemon. Between the end of winter and the beginning of spring it produces countless small flowers, in particular at the apex of the branches; the flowers of Chamelaucium they are small, white or pink in color, with a saucer-shaped center, purple in color, delicately scented.
The flowers of wax flower they are very resistant even on cut twigs, and in fact it is widely used as a cut flower, and is therefore cultivated in some areas of the Mediterranean.
How it is grown
The Chamelaucium it is a fairly rustic shrub; it is placed in the garden or in a pot; it fears the intense cold and the frosts, therefore in the areas with very cold winters it is good to shelter the plant in a cold greenhouse during the winter months. We can leave it in the garden in the open ground in the southern areas where the winters are not very rigid, and where the night minimums hardly drop below 2-5 ° C.
In any case, we place our wax flower in a sunny place, where it can enjoy the sun's rays for many hours a day and at any time of the year; the soil must be very well drained, so when planting it we use citrus soil, or we mix fresh and rich substrate and some handfuls of pumice stone or sand to the garden soil to increase drainage.
It withstands heat and drought very well, even if it tends to develop better if during the dry months we provide watering when the soil is well dry.
Let's avoid excess watering, as chamelaucium tends to be particularly sensitive to root rot.
Over the years the plant tends to grow in height, emptying of foliage in the lower part, and becoming disordered; to avoid this phenomenon, we shorten the branches slightly after flowering in late spring.