This erect shrub is of the Scrophulariaceae family. An evergreen, it is native to Western Australia. Rarely found in nature, and not particularly widespread, it is a protected species in Australia. It is recently addition to greenhouses.
The first description we find of the plant dates 1986, and was written by the botanist Robert Chinnock, a researcher from New Zealand working at State Herbarium of South Australia, and the author of the book “Eremophilia and allied genera: a monograph of the plant family Myoporacea (today the plants are included in the Scrophulariaceae family).
The name ‘Eremophilia’ derives from the Greek ‘Eremos’, solitary, of the desert, and ‘phileo’, love, a clear reference to the relationship that this Australian shrub has with water; and ‘Nivea’, from the Latin ‘niveus’, ‘of the snow’, in reference to its silvery, almost white leaves.
The needle-shaped leaves, serrated along the margins, call to mind those of the rosemary shrub, but are different for their soft, silky texture. It is, in fact, often referred to as the “silky plant’.
It loves the heat, survives dry spells, even if prolonged, and the cold weather, up to -8º. We suggest pruning the plant after it blossoms, because this helps it grow thick on the bottom. It is best to water the plant at its base to prevent mildew on the leaves. I planted the Eremophila with Ceratostigma Willmottiano, Mary Rose, Lavender and ground cover lavender, and with a Geranium coccineum to one side. All I have to do now is wait for the plants to blend comfortably together to achieve a suggestive effect, but even as it is, it presents a splendid, harmonious corner.