Hypocalymma 'Golden Veil'
There are 32 species of Hypocalymma, all of which occur in the south west of Western Australia. They belong to the Myrtaceae family. One of these species is Hypocalymma cordifolium, a spreading shrub growing to a height of about 1 m with a spread of up to 2 m. It grows well in moist soils but can withstand long dry periods without apparent harm.
The small, heart-shaped leaves are borne opposite each other on curious minutely winged stems. These stems are bright pink when the new growth is young.
Hypocalymma 'Golden Veil' is a variegated cultivar of this species which resulted from a shoot mutation. It was selected by Mr H. Meyer, of Croydon North, Melbourne, Victoria, in 1968.
The cultivar resembles the normal form of H. cordifolium except that it has variegated foliage. The small leaves are irregularly margined with cream. It appears that the variegated form will not reach the same dimensions as the natural form although its compact habit makes it a very attractive specimen for a rockery, garden bed or, if trimmed from an early age, a low neat hedge. Any shoots that appear with the natural green foliage should be pruned off.
At the Australian National Botanic Gardens the frosty Canberra winters do not cause any serious problems with this plant. Slight tip burn may result after a heavy frost but a quick recovery will be made in spring. A method of vegetative propagation must be used to maintain the character of this cultivar. The best cuttings are those taken in early summer when the growing tips have become half ripe. Success rates should be high as the cuttings strike readily. There have been no pests or diseases noticed on the plants growing in the Gardens.
Text by D. V. Young - ANBG (1979)
Name meaning: Hypocalymma cordifolium
Hypocalymma - from the Greek, hypo, meaning under, and kalymma, meaning a veil, an allusion to the calyx falling off like a veil or a cape;
cordifolium - heart-shaped leaves.