Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Duranta erecta 'Sheena's Gold'

left to right: Salvia mexicana 'Limelight', Acanthus 'Hollard's Gold', Duranta 'Sheena's Gold'
Duranta 'Sheena's Gold' is one of the most widely grown golden foliaged plants and is used as both a large 3 metre topiary specimen (as pictured here) or pruned hard and kept as a low hedge plant, often in combination with the dark purple leafed Alternanthera dentata. Apart from needing some pruning or shearing over summer, it is a really low maintenance plant and is undemanding as to soil type and watering.This may account for its use in traffic roundabouts and roadside plantings. My local fire station has a hedge of it in combination with Anigozanthos, a tall yellow flowered 'Kangaroo Paw' which looks very effective.
At this time of year. especially in cold districts, the foliage turns dark inky black and if light frost occurs these leaves may drop off entirely. However new growth returns in spring with leaves coloured bright yellow and soon after the plant quickly returns to normal growth. Pale lavender coloured flowers appear in high summer and these contrast well with the foliage. This is a great plant for beginner gardeners to grow if they are after a quick growing screen plant to hide a fence or provide privacy. It can be cut back hard if it becomes too tall or unmanageable and will re-grow without any fear of having done it any drastic damage.

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