Originally uploaded by gardenwiseguy
I’ve been using this plant more and more in my repertoire. It seems to grow exceptionally well wherever I use it and the impact of the spikey silver foliage can’t be beat.
Astelia chamathia (Silver Spear) is the botanical name, and this gorgeous New Zealand native (actually, the Chatham Islands) is certainly welcome on our shores. Give it good drainage, sun or bright shade around here (Santa Barbara, CA) and can take the coldest nights we get around here (good to about 20 deg. F).
If you’ve got heavy clay soil, you might want to keep it out of the ground and grow it in a pot. For real drama surround it with some purple foliage (maybe Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’) and splash a little yellow-green nearby (I’m a fool for the chartreuse sweet potato – Ipomea).
So this week we’ll call it “Silver Thumb Sunday.”