The battle with Phytophthora has been lost. Almost 75% of sites in certain regions across Australia have now been affected by the disease, which is easily spread on sites by mulch, water, soles of shoes, even moving vehicles. The only choice left for planting areas that are going to receive water runoff (eg. the lower side of a path) is to choose Phytophthora resistant or immune Lomandras. Plants that are less resistant, such as Tanika® Lomandra longifolia ‘LM300’ PBR, are more suitable for raised areas (eg. upsides of paths and median strips).
The following varieties are highly Phytophthora resistant:
Katie Belles™ Lomandra hystrix ‘LHBYF’ PBR is the best performing, evergreen Australian native rain garden plant. It is ideal for mass planting in wet and dry landscapes, the edge of watercourses, drainage channels, and specimen planting. It is also a great option for erosion control, strengthening the soil up to 285 percent.
Tropic Cascade™ / Southern Cascade™ Lomandra hystrix ‘LHWP’ PBR is well suited to tropical and sub-tropical regions. It can handle periods of wet feet and has survived in cold temperatures down to -4°c. It also has good erosion control capabilities, strengthening the soil 159%. (Note: Sold as Southern Cascade™ in Southern NSW, ACT, VIC, SA and WA)
Lucky Stripe™ Lomandra hystrix ‘LMV200’ PBR is a tough reliable variegated plant even in humid climates, and unlike other variegated plants, Lucky Stripe™ Lomandra generally remains spot free. This plant is ideal for mass roadside plantings, rain gardens and is excellent for erosion control. It is a long lived plant that does not produce viable seed, so it will stay where it is planted.
The following varieties are the only two Lomandra varieties in Australia to show 100% resistance to Phytophthora. (At the time of writing no deaths have been recorded of either variety due to Phytophthora)
Evergreen Baby™ Lomandra labill. ‘LM600’ PBR is a very tough, compact Lomandra that is drought and wet feet tolerant. Unlike the multitude of compact Lomandra confertifolia types out there, the Evergreen Baby™ plant came from Lomandra longifolia origin, this is important because longifolia plants are far tougher in the heat and in the wet compared to the traditional small confertifolias that really only occur in dry shade forests.
Shara™ Lomandra fluvialtilis ‘ABU7’ PBR is a great fine leaf Lomandra for humid landscapes and is the number 1 performing rooftop garden plant. The Shara™ plant is another good option for erosion control as it strengthens the soil 225%. This plant will tolerate periodic wet feet, but not permanent.
For more information contact Ozbreed on 02 4577 2977 or visit www.ozbreed.com.au
Images (top to bottom): Katie Belles™ Lomandra hystrix; Tropic Cascade™ / Southern Cascade™ Lomandra hystrix; Lucky Stripe™ Lomandra hystrix; Evergreen Baby™ Lomandra labill; Shara™ Lomandra fluvialtilis