Friday, February 6, 2009

Gomphrena haageana aurea 'Strawberry Fields' and Haloragis erecta 'Ballengarra Bronze'

Gomphrena haageana aurea 'Strawberry Fields'and Haloragis erecta 'Ballengarra Bronze'

The bright orange-red Gomphrena is a Tex-Mex annual which flowers until at least June and could even be perennial in sub tropical climates ,if cut back hard to the thick base stem at that time. It is sometimes given the name of Globe Amaranth and is related to the Indian native, the purple flowered Gomphrena globosa .Both plants have flowers made up of papery"chaffy bracts" These can be picked and make excellent dried flowers if hung upside down for a time to fully dry.It is also a good "self-seeder" and the above plant is a rogue seedling which appeared in a mulch path.
The Haloragis also self- seeds and is a good little "in filler" shrub ,growing to about 40cm, where a bronzy black colour contrast is required. The leaves have an interesting serration to them and it responds well to clipping to improve the shape. It is native to New Zealand.
2017 update: The Haloragis seems to have disappeared from the nursery trade.

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