Correa reflexa var. nummulariifolia at San Francisco Botanical Garden by Eric Hunt
Correa was first discovered in 1770 by Joseph Banks on the expedition to Botany Bay in Australia. It was named after the Portuguese philosopher and botanist, Jose Correia de Serra. There are 11 species, including three varieties and many cultivars. The opposite leaves are small, oval to rounded, two to seven centimeters long with the underside slightly felted and a shiny or matte upper surface. Their fuchsia-like flowers range from tubular to bell-shaped, and are formed by the fusion of four petals with the tips sometimes reflexed or curved outwards. The flowers are axillary (arise on the side) or terminal (arise at the tip) of the branches and can be solitary or in groups of three. Most Correa have a prolonged winter flowering time from October to April, can withstand temperatures down to 20 degrees and thrive in calcareous chalky soils. Most species need well-drained soil and enjoy full sun but also tolerate shade. They are not susceptible to disease and are quite drought-tolerant. In Australia they attract many birds as pollinators including honeyeaters. Many bicolored correas present a special color combination that attracts birds as pollinators; often orange or red at the base with bright yellow or green at the tips. These color combinations that attract pollinators are found in many other plants including Fuchsia, Erica, and Kniphofia species.