Saturday, June 29, 2013

Helichrysum petiolare 'Limelight'

 Helichrysum petiolare 'Limelight' syn 'Aureum'
This is the golden variety of the vigorous shrub, silver foliaged ground cover, Helichrysum petiolare which is known to cover several square metres given half the chance, as well as climb up and over surrounding plants. This form is more sedate though has a few issues which make it tricky to grow. The pale leaves make it vulnerable to sunburn and frost damage despite having a covering of woolly felt. Propagation can also difficult as it will easily rot from all that fur on the stems especially at times of high humidity. However I always have a few plants on the go as it has proved a popular addition to summer container gardens, hanging baskets and shady corners which are duly brightened by the foliage.
Trevor Nottle in his book on Mediterranean plants disdainfully relegates it to 'the mixed plant hanging basket outside an English pub' but I think it deserves a garden spot where it can be enjoyed for the unique colour of the leaves and ease of care. It just needs the occasional trim to keep it neat and is generally indifferent to soil conditions as long as it is well drained.

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