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  • Aeonium
    • ‘Kiwi’   CAG02810
      Height40cm
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL
      LightSun - L. Sh.
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A quick growing succulent that forms a shrubby mound of densely packed waxy green rosettes the centre of which turns creamy yellow during winter, with each leaf also developing a red edge, to provide cheery seasonal colour. The panicles of small, starry, cream coloured flowers which are sparsely borne on older plants in spring are of interest but little consequence.

      Dead easy to grow in any well drained soil, though direct midday summer sun and frost should be avoided, and makes an excellent pot subject developing curtains of aerial roots from older stems which can become quite a feature. A cool season grower and perfectly hardy to any amount of summer drought.

  • Agave
    • americana   CAG03139

      (Century plant)
      Height2.5m
      Width3m
      Flowering SeasonSummer
      WaterL
      LightSun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      Too ubiquitous in the old field landscape for the collector this, one of the largest of the genus, still offers the same potential for grandiose design that it did to ambitious gardeners of the past, to which it remains a lasting testament of their labours.

      Two metre long, sharply pointed and toothed, blue-grey, sword-like leaves, gently curved and sometimes flopping which prevents too severe an effect, form a striking rosette that in time suckers to form a grand colony. These pups are quite soft and easily plucked when young to maintain solitude. After ten years or so a giant asparagus like flowerstalk bears clusters of upward facing greenish yellow flowers followed by egg like seed pods and small plantlets, after which the flowered rosette dies to be succeeded by offsets. Originally from Central America and found globally in warmer regions.

      At its boldest as individuals in stark surrounds, against flat walls of colour and/or mulched with crushed red brick for a marscape, or with enough space in colonies, with Bismarckia nobilis, Phoenix canariensis, Washingtonia robusta, Draceana draco and Yucca gigantea for a low input unirrigated landscape capable of complimenting even the most imposing architecture for centuries.

      Easily grown anywhere except maybe in a pond or the top of Mt Koskiuszko, will make a fine potted specimen too for a couple of decades though it won't reach flowering size.

    • americana ‘Variegata’   CAG03186
      for $7.00earn 35 points

    • vivipara var. marginata   CAG02018
      Height1.2m
      Width1.2m
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL
      LightSun
      Agave vivipara var. marginata
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A quick growing variety, small enough for a large pot but large enough to make a statement, with a stiff almost harsh demeanour, useful for stark architectural style or high contrast with softer forms, especially so in groups.

      Sparse, slightly taller than spherical rosettes of very rigid, long, tapering, glaucous green leaves, generously edged with cream variegation, short, dark, marginal teeth and terminating in a short black spine.

      Spreads moderately by underground stolons and such colonies are particularly attractive but need appropriate space.

      Individual rosettes produce after many (10+) years a spectacular tree like inflorescence, the remains of which are often used in floral art, bearing thousands of erect, yellow green, tubular flowers, in tight clusters, which are much loved by nectar feeding birds and insects, and then rapidly decline and die to be succeeded by younger offsets or bulbils.

  • Aloe
    • vera var. chinensis   CAG02712
      Height40cm
      Width60cm
      Flowering SeasonSummer
      WaterM - L
      LightShade
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A household name that should need little introduction. The mucilaginous gel contained within the fat leaves is used in innumerable cosmetics, medicines and beverages.

      This variety suckers rapidly to make a dense clump of white spotted, fresh green, toothy, fleshy, tapering leaves and bears tubular flowers of soft salmon atop slender stems. Immensely durable while being tolerant of neither sun nor frost but is the best suited to culture indoors, conveniently on the kitchen windowsill, or that miserable shady strip around the south side of the house.

      Easily grown in any soil that is not constantly wet. Drought tolerant but much prefers regular watering.

  • Pelargonium
    • gibbosum   CAG02781

      (Gouty Pelargonium)
      Height20cm
      Width2m
      Flowering SeasonSp - Su
      WaterL
      LightSun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A scrambling species from the south west coast of Africa with grey stems swollen at the joints, which it retreats to during its summer dormancy, and pinnate, very glaucous, ruffled leaves. Clusters of strange, murky, yellow-green five petalled flowers are borne in the spring.

      Hardy and vigorous it can be quite the feature spilling from a retained garden bed, urn or hanging basket, or as added interest rambling through a mix of mediterranean shrubs (perfect compliment for Lavandula ‘Ploughman's Blue’). Its brittle nature does mean you have to set it away from passing traffic and being a coastal species heavy soils are not its friend unless you can keep it dry enough.

  • Tradescantia
    • pallida ‘Purpurea’   CAG02841

      (Wandering Jew, Purple heart)
      Height25cm
      Width1m
      Flowering SeasonAll
      WaterL
      LightSun - Shade
      Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A succulent groundcover from eastern Mexico valued for its powdered wine purple elliptic leaves and stems that are studded year round with small, three petalled soft pink flowers. Well suited to larger landscapes viewed from a distance, especially the root filled soil beneath Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) or Bismarck palm (Bismarkia nobilis), a hardier and longer lasting alternative to Alternanthera, where its brittle scrambling stems can be overlooked. Can make a fine hanging basket too as long as you don't like to fiddle with your plants, even more stunning muddled with the even more brittleGraptopetalum paraguayense.

      Tends to scorch in midday sun and frost but otherwise growable anywhere and is immensely shade tolerant though more light equates to more colour. Demands at least occasional summer irrigation. Snap it off as needed when it becomes untidy and it will quickly make new shoots from lower nodes.

      Widely recognized as an aggressive spreader, I have yet to encounter this and find the closely related Australian Commelina cyanea far more so, though it seems to be a problem restricted to more humid regions (queenslanders you have been advised).

  • Yucca
    • filamentosa   CAG01334

      (Adam's needle)
      Height40cm
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSummer
      WaterL
      LightFull Sun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A clumping perennial making bold rosettes of soft, waxy blue, lance shaped leaves and bearing in summer a grandiose display of creamy bell-like flowers in upright panicles. A counterpoint for other perennials of fine foliage and sibilant grasses, or dotted through low dense shrubs (e.g. Santolina and Teucrium marum) for a dynamic garrigue inspired planting for larger spaces.

      From south eastern North America and so enjoying some summer irrigation but otherwise happy with heat, cold and drought as long as drainage is reasonable.

  • Aeonium
    • arboreum ‘Atropurpureum’   CAG02828
      Height1m
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL
      LightSun - L. Sh.
      CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

      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.

  • Agave
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