Scientific: Eremophila maculata
Common: spotted emu bush
Family: Myoporaceae (Scrophulariaceae)
Origin: Found in inland areas of all mainland states of Australia including the Northern Territory. In western Australia, E. maculata subsp. brevifolia, whereas in central and eastern Australia, E. maculata subsp. filifolia.

Pronounciation: Air-e-mo-FIL-a ma-cu-LA-ta

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

Landscape Use: Informal flowering accent, moderate to large informal hedge plant, screening plant, and hummingbird gardens.

Form & Character: Highly variable in form depending on horticultural selection, ranging from a sprawling medium to large landscape shrub. with a loose, almost unruly informal appearance to a small rounded shrub, to prostrate and spreading.

Growth Habit: Evergreen herbaceous to semi-woody perennial shrub, slow to grow after transplanting into the landscape. But once established, its growth rate increases to moderate, size highly variable from 3 to 8 feet in height with somewhat variable spread. Generally sparse and open in appearance when young, but changing to dense and full with age.

Foliage/Texture: Alternate arrangement, mostly lanceolate, light to gray green leaves to 2 inches tapering to blunt tip at the apex, nearly always glabrous, sessile; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Axillary and tubular to 1 inch long on short and curved peduncles which hold the 1 inch long flowers mostly upright, flowers have 4 stamens that extend beyong the petals with small distinct markings (spots) and hairs inside flower tubes, color variable ranging from from yellow, orange, pink, mauve, to red; fruits dry, rounded, generally inconspicuous.

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

Temperature: Hardy to 23oF.

Light: Full sun to partial shade.

Soil: Spotted emu buch is extremely salt and alkaline tolerant, needs good soil water drainage.

Watering: Tolerates some aridity, but in Phoenix is more 'lush and full' with some supplemental water.

Pruning: Shear lightly in summer or winter only as needed to informally shape. Do not shear regularly and expect to maintain a formal appearance. Otherwise, mostly leave alone and control growth by regulating irrigation rates.

Special 'Hort Clod' note: The Phoenix area is replete with excellent specimens of the rarely found elsewhere cultivated variety of E. maculata called 'Beer Keg'.

Propagation: Semi-hardwood cuttings root easily.

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Eremophila maculata is one of 206 known Eremophila species, all endemic to Australia and many of which have great landscaping potential in the Phoenix area. Eremophila maculata is a large and sprawling, great for large spaces or as a background plant. It consists of two varieties - maculata and brevifolia. The most obvious difference between these varieties is the foliage, with the variety brevifolia having much shorter leaves than the variety maculata. Popular cultivars include many worldwide, but in Phoenix the most commonly seen are 'Winter Gold' and 'Valentine'.

Spotted emu bush flowers attract hummingbirds. Eremophilia is a greek work that means "desert loving" and maculata means spotted, which refers to the spotted markings inside the flowers.

Some other Eremophila landscape taxa seen in Phoenix include:
Eremophila decipiens
Eremophila glabra subsp. carnosa (winter blaze emu bush)
Eremophila glabra 'Mingenew Gold' (outback sunrise emu)
Eremophila glabra 'Murchinson River' (rather poorly adapted to the Phoenix area)
Eremophila glabra subsp. carnosa (winter blaze emu bush)
Eremophila hygrophana
Eremophila laanii 'Pink Beauty'
Eremophila pachyphylla (syn. Eremophila psilocalyx)
Eremophila polyclada x divaricata 'Summertime Blue'
Eremophila racemosa

Increasingly, Eremophila are being horticulturally bred and selected for landscape use.