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  • Acanthus
    • mollis ‘Hollard's Gold’   CAG01102

      (Golden bear's breeches)
      Height1m
      Width1.5m
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL - M
      LightSun - L. Sh.
      Acanthus mollis ‘Hollard's Gold’
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      One of the most beautiful chartreuse leaved plants you could ever grow.

      Large, 60cm plus, sharply scalloped, red stemmed leaves form spectacular rosettes over Winter, from the centre of which emerge each Spring, sturdy, 1m tall stalks topped with large hooded pink and white flowers, enclosed in sharp leafy bracts.

      Both the leaves and flowers are excellent for cutting and the flowers remain interesting even when dried.

      Will happily go dormant over Summer if grown dry, my prefered option as it can then be grown in full sun for best colour and the curled golden leaves erupting from the bare earth each Autumn are a breath taking sight.

  • Aeonium
    • arboreum ‘Atropurpureum’   CAG02828
      Height1m
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL
      LightSun - L. Sh.
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      An old garden relic (no trendy cultivar name here) with large, green centred, burgundy rosettes of succulent, spoon shaped leaves, developing into a thick stemmed shrub in just a few years. Fat, fluffy cones of tiny sulphur flowers are borne in spring when mature, often exhausting the plant but any non-flowering rosettes are easily broken off and replanted so sit back and enjoy the show.

      Winter growing and summer drought loving, as expected from a Canary Island plant, and as with most of the genus too much moisture and shade leads to rapid and unsustainable growth, though some protection from midday summer sun may be needed. Give it a well drained limestone cliff, or even some well drained soil, sans irrigation, and you will have a gorgeous and long lived garden plant.

      Barely frost tolerant.

  • Amaryllis
    • belladonna   CAG01045

      (Easter lily, Naked lady)
      Height1m
      Width60cm
      Flowering SeasonAutumn
      WaterL
      LightSun - Shade
      Amaryllis belladonna
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A super tough South African that should need little introduction, though, where once its autumn spectacle was taken for granted through the South West it is now being increasingly displaced by fleeting makeover starlets.

      Clusters of large. flaring, funnel shaped flowers, pale pink and deepening with age, are carried atop sturdy, fleshy stems. The strappy, dark green leaves emerge after flowering from the necks of large, papery, brown bulbs that are typically somewhat exposed, adjusting to their preferred depth with the aid of contractile roots. Becoming deciduous with rising temperatures in spring and then requiring zero water over summer.

      Infallible in any soil, in any position except the densest shade. Usually takes several years to settle in and commence flowering for perpetuity.

      For me, nothing heralds more the imminent return of cooler weather and rain than the sight of fat buds thrusting naked from parched ground. I imagine it is the same joy that gardeners in cold regions feel on seeing the first hint of spring in a shoot emerging from snow.

    • belladonna Deep pink   CAG02331
      Height40cm
      Width40cm
      Flowering SeasonAutumn
      WaterL
      LightSun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      Clusters of deep magenta-pink, widely flaring trumpet-like flowers pop up on juicy stalks at the end of summer to be followed by tidy clumps of strappy dark green leaves that emerge from plump papery tuniced bulbs.

      More richly coloured flowers and lower, narrower foliage than typical A. belladonna fare, I suppose this to have some Nerine influence (x Amarine maybe) or it may just be natural variability within the species.

      Summer dormant and indestructibly hardy, grows anywhere in anything and lives forever. My mother found this years ago sitting on clay pan, in standing water (not recommended), surrounded by horses, a relic of early settlement given the size of the clump. Native to southern Africa.

  • Arctotis
  • Artemisia
    • abrotanum   CAG02981

      (Southernwood, Lad's love)
      Height90cm
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Su
      WaterL
      LightFull Sun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A stiff mounding shrub with lacy, grey-green leaves surrounding reddish stems. Upright when young becoming denser and shrubbier with annual pruning to remove the wand-like stems of pale sulphur, button-like flowers which offer little interest other than than seasonally pleasing vertical accent. Found wild through much of southern Europe and the Mediterranean.

      Quite dark in active growth during the cooler months, greyer in summer, it can make a stunning counterpoint to silver leaved plants and offers potential for clipping into fuzzy balls, low informal hedges or parterre.

      Perfectly hardy to heat, drought and frost in any well drained soil with maximum sun. Too much shade, moisture or rich soil turns it into a pointless green thing.

      Might actually be A. camphorata if such a thing exists.

    • absinthium ‘Lambrook Silver’   CAG01478
      Height30cm
      Width45cm
      Flowering SeasonSummer
      WaterL
      LightSun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A first class perennial from the garden of Marjorie Fish, forming a clump of lacy, gently arching, silver leaves. A valuable component of any designers palette of high impact plants, providing sufficient interest and contrast without visual competition. Panicles of pale yellow, button-like flowers are borne in summer, after which a quick cut to ground can restore order, if desired, or else wait until winter when it is semi-deciduous.

      Lower growing and more refined than the species which is found throughout Europe, western Asia and northern Africa.
      More graceful and less spreading than A. ‘Powis Castle’ but almost as indestructible and seems to be more clay tolerant. Easily grown in any well drained, sunny, lean soil. Likely to be short lived in areas with high summer humidity, a lifer everywhere else.

      Also the defining constituent of Absinthe.

    • alba ‘Canescens’   CAG00991

      syn. A. armeniaca, A. versicolor ‘Seafoam’
      Height20cm
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSummer
      WaterL
      LightFull Sun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A grouncovering shrub of the utmost hardiness, forming a fine, silver, coral-like cushion, purple tinted under drought stress or in autumn before shedding its leaves over winter. Relatively slow growth yields years of undemanding beauty besides paths or scattered through boulders and is a perfect cover for summer dormant bulbs or other low plants of fine form. Tapering spires of pale yellow, button-like flowers lend an elegant effect but are of little import and, here at least, are seldom seen.

      Easily grown in any soil, or rock crevice, though not so happy in clay. Summer water unnecessary but tolerated, though not likely to last long in regions with high summer humidity. At it's best where lesser plants scorch and fry.

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