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Cow Itch Tree, Primrose Tree
Scientific Name: Lagunaria patersonii (Andrews) G. Don
Synonym: Hibiscus patersonia, Laguna squamea, Solandra squamea
Family: Malvaceae
Cow Itch Tree, Primrose Tree (Lagunaria  patersonii) Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 13,15-24
USDA: 9b-11

Frost Tolerance: Some frost damage can be expected in the coldest portion of the range, the young trees should be protected on frosty night

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Origin: Australia (Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island, coastal Queensland, New South Wales)

Growth Habits: Small evergreen tree, 35 to 50 feet tall (10-15 m); olive green, entire, oval leaves, 2 to 4 inches (5-10cm) long, with grayish tomentose undersides

Watering Needs: Little water once established, tolerates drought, tolerates salt spray, needs good drainage

Propagation: Seeds, cuttings


The genus name honors Andres de Laguna, a sixteenth century Spanish botanist. The species epithet is named for the Scot W. Paterson who collected the plant.

Blooming Habits:
Pink or mauve hibicus-like flowers 1.6 to 3 inches in diameter (4-7.5 cm), in abundance, in summer and early autumn.

Fruiting Habits:
Fuzzy brown, 5-valved, capsules, filled with stiff hair irritating to the skin (hence the name of 'itch tree')


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