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Postage : Seeds only $2 / Plants $15

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  • Andropogon
    • gerardii ‘Io Saturnalia’   CAG03125
      Height1.5m
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Au
      WaterM
      LightSun
      Andropogon gerardii ‘Io Saturnalia’
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A select form of good bluish green that flowers abundantly to provide height while remaining suitably insouciant well into winter.

      A perennial grass forming a dense clump of soft, gently weeping, 5mm wide, rich blue-green foliage which quickly mounds to knee height when the slender flower stems take over, erect but not stiff and reaching 1.5m by late spring, bearing brownish turkeyfoots that add substance without opacity, a soft haze from a distance. With cold autumn weather the whole plant turns various shades of orange to yellow then soft fawn with the flowering stems holding until removed or flattened by inclement weather.

      A mass planting interspersed with other tall summer perennials, Rudbeckia laciniata and Verbena bonariensis would be ideal for a start, for a model tall grass prairie or plant as isolated clumps amongst low growers, or even just gravel, to accentuate its vase like form.

      Easily grown in any sunny soil, pointless in shade, with moisture until flowering time after which the deeply penetrating roots, which make it terribly unsuited to pot culture, enable it to survive dryness. In moist conditions it can be cut to ground level in late spring for a second coming, keeping it fresh all summer. Permanent, after a few years its girth is easily reduced with a sharp spade and after 10 years or so you may need to replant it deeper as the crown rises up on itself.

      The easiest of all grasses to maintain (15 seconds per annum), totally winter dormant with no annoying opportunistic growth. Once dormant and when desired simply remove all the previous years growth with a sweep of the hand, it detaches neatly at ground level leaving no unsightly stubble and ensuring a clean fresh start every spring.

      The longer I grow it the greater my appreciation, long lasting effortless dynamism.

  • Coreopsis
    • tinctoria   CAG00686

      (Plains Coreopsis, Garden Coreopsis, Golden tickseed)
      Height90cm
      Width40cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Su
      WaterM
      LightFull Sun
      Coreopsis tinctoria
      for $3.00earn 15 points
      SEEDS

      Every new visitor to the nursery during spring or early summer invariably asks the name of this brilliant annual from the North American prairies. Under my conditions it is remarkably fecund and I have a tendency to let it have it's way, mostly. Drifts of diminutive specimens can be found in the paving cracks and you have to wade through their larger siblings that have found more hospitable homes. An opportunistic seedling can usually be found in flower at any time of the year and most customers must go home with at least one or two hitch-hikers stowed away amongst their purchases.

      Even in their thousands there are nearly as many variations in colour and form of flower, from clear yellow, some with cinnamon brushing, to mahogany red and every combination in between, that is yellow with a red centre of varying size. Some plants have flowers with extra smaller petals in the centre so as to appear almost anemone centred, while others have rolled flute-like petals somewhat resembling seashells, which is a name often given this flower form.

      Whatever form the flowers take the foliage is always finely dissected, dark green, occasionally red tinted, glossy and almost fern-like, in a rosette which firsts mounds, then elongates with a sturdy stem, atop which is carried the much branched head of daisy-like flowers.

      Scratch seeds into any bare soil, sand or clay during autumn. They will persist from year to year so long as adequate moisture is available to complete flowering and seed set, a little additional water late in the season is usually required if relying on rainfall.


      Each packet should contain at least 50 seeds. And then some.

  • Rudbeckia
    • laciniata   CAG00567

      (Cutleaf coneflower)
      Height2m
      Width60cm
      Flowering SeasonSu - Au
      WaterM - H
      LightSun
      Rudbeckia laciniata
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      An exuberant perennial from the American tall prairies at its very best in the dog days of summer when lesser plants are flagging. Lush mounds of deeply divided, dark green leaves steadily rise through the growing season to be finally topped at the end of summer by elegantly branched heads of long stemmed daisy-like flowers with a green central cone and down swept bright yellow petals. After several weeks of bloom, irreverent of dry heat so long as moisture is available, the petals fall and the attractive cone-like seed heads then remain on display until removed adding height and seasonal interest all winter if desired.

      Evergreen in Perth but colder regions may find it less so.

      Easily grown in any soil with lots of sun, unfazed by clay. Water availability during the growing period dictates height but considerable dryness is tolerated, more so after flowering.

      Self seeds well in over irrigated sites and the seedlings are typically more vigorous than old congested clumps which are probably best divided or even discarded after several years.

  • Andropogon
    • gerardii   CAG02015

      (Big bluestem, Turkey foot)
      Height2m
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSummer
      WaterM - L
      LightFull Sun
      Andropogon gerardii
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A magnificent deciduous grass from the tall grass prairies of North America. Soft, mid to blue green, narrow leaves rise from a dense clump of subterranean corms. Unexciting three parted flowers are borne in Summer but it in Autumn the leaves colour spectacularly, in reds, yellows and oranges.
      Makes an elegant screen, backdrop or cattle feed.
      Very deep rooted and dry tolerant once established.

      Well behaved, long lived, thrives in all but extremely wet soil and extremely low maintenance, cut it to ground level in Winter. Big bluestem is one of the best ornamental grasses and cannot be recommended or planted enough.

  • Dalea
    • purpurea   CAG02646

      (Purple prairie clover)
      Height60cm
      Width30cm
      Flowering SeasonSp / Au
      WaterM - L
      LightFull Sun
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      Wand like stems lightly dressed in small divided leaves spring from a deep perennial taproot and are topped with small cone like heads of bright magenta flowers. Found throughout central North America and a natural component of the tall grass prairies, it is an appealing companion for your choice grasses, I might suggest Little blue stem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and/or Big blue stem (Andropogon gerardii) which are both natural and stunning associations, scatter it through a gravel garden to exemplify its form or simply mass it for a swathe of unadulterated summer colour.

      A nitrogen fixing legume well regarded for its ability to thrive in hot dry summers and poor soils in its native home. I will reserve my judgement until I have known it a little longer but strongly suspect we have a winner.

      Winter dormant and attractive in seed. For any sunny reasonably well drained soil, some amount of summer irrigation will be appreciated.

  • Ratibida
    • columnifera f. pulcherrima   CAG02680

      (Prairie coneflower, Mexican hat)
      Height1m
      Width40cm
      Flowering SeasonSp - Au
      WaterM - L
      LightFull Sun
      Ratibida columnifera f. pulcherrima
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      A richly coloured heat loving perennial found throughout North America and garden staple. Hardy and adaptable it thrives in any not overly moist soil where its gold edged, mahogany flowers with cone like centres will ceaselessly parade from spring until winter atop vertical stems loosely clad with soft green, pinnatifid leaves.

      Sensational with flowing grasses, tall perennials or as a quick easy ganache to save flavourless plantings.

      Best when cut down to ground level in winter to make room for new growth and in colder areas it will go dormant.

      May appreciate the addition of some ground limestone or dolomite in very acid soils.

  • Schizachyrium
    • scoparium   CAG01692

      (Little Bluestem)
      Height50cm
      Width30cm
      Flowering SeasonAutumn
      WaterL - M
      LightSun
      Schizachyrium scoparium
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      An exceptional grass from the American tall grass prairies where it is one of the main forage plants.
      The tight clumps of glaucous blue leaves are tolerant of heat and drought and will grow in both acid and alkaline soils, so long as the drainage is good and there is plenty of sun. Additional height is gained from late summer from the non-descript flower stems. Winter dormant, the leaves turn varying shades of orange, red and purple during autumn and hold their shape throughout winter.

      Cut down to ground level in late winter.

  • Sorghastrum
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