Scientific: Eremophila glabra
Common: tar bush
Family: Myoporaceae
Origin: Inland Australia

Pronounciation: Air-e-mo-FI-la GLA-bra

Hardiness zones
Sunset
8, 9, 14-24
USDA 8-11 (arid and semi-arid regions are best)

Landscape Use: Informal accent for medium and large landscape spaces, late and spring winter accent for dry landscapes, hummingbird gardens.

Form & Character: Highly variable, prostrate and spreading to upright, informal shape, lovely, tough, dependable.

Growth Habit: Evergreen woody perennial, moderately slow to fast, 1 to 10 feet in heightwith sometimes greater spread, small, raised glands on the stems, flowers and leaves.

Foliage/Texture: Alternate arrangement, glabrous green to tomentose grey, lanceolate up to 2 inches long and covered with small raised glands, leaves tapering to a blunt tip, sessile; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Short, curved peduncles that hold 1-inch long axillary and tubular, upright with 4 stamens which extend beyond the end of the petals, sepals imbricate, flower colors range from yellow, orange, coral to red; fruits ovoid to subglobose, inconspicuous.

Seasonal Color: Profuse, colorful flowers in late winter and early spring.

Temperature: Hardy to 15oF

Light: Full sun, but will tolerate some light shade.

Soil: Extremely salt and alkaline tolerant, needs good drainage, but also does well in clay soils. Eremophila is a genus with many salt tolerant species that have great landscaping potential in the Phoenix area.

Watering: Tolerates some aridity, but looks more robust with regular infrequent irrigations.

Pruning: Responds well to light shearing after flowering in early May, but otherwise mostly please leave this informal shrub alone and instead control its growth by regulating amounts of supplemental irrigation.

Propagation: Stem cuttings

Disease and pests: Various fungal root rots will kill Eremophila quick if the soil is kept continuously wet (during summer) and is poorly drained.

Additional comments: Use watering rates to control vigor. Flower attract hummingbirds.

Tar bush is the most widely distributed and variable species of Eremophila in Australia. There are many cultivated selections for horticultural landscape use. Two popular selections commonly seen in Phoenix include:

'Mingenew Gold' (outback sunrise emu)
Subspecies carnosa (winter blaze emu bush)