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Brachyglottis - Care Guide
BRACHYGLOTTIS - Care Guide
Brachyglottis are evergreen shrubs from New Zealand and Tasmania which grow in the wild in scrubby grassland and forests. Some are grown for their foliage and some for their flowers. The most popular and widely grown species and varieties in the UK are found mainly in coastal gardens where some make effective hedges and small windbreaks.
Brachyglottis have daisy-like flower heads with florets of petals. The flowers are in corymbs or panicles in summer and early autumn. The undersides of their leaves are white or white felted which is a distinguishing feature of this genus.
Brachyglottis repanda and B. repanda ‘Purpurea’ are two of the more tender forms which the nursery offers in small quantities. These are architectural, conservatory or greenhouse plants with attractive foliage but they do grow 6-8ft in height and will need regular pruning. They have arching panicles of creamy white flowers. On Tresco, in the Isles of Scilly, these grow into large shrubs on the edge of the gardens.
B. bidwillii is considerably hardier and is a dwarfish, slow growing shrub, which is suitable for the shrub border. It has chubby shoots and glossy dark green leaves which are white felted below. The flower heads in summer are white.
B. ‘Walberton’s Silver Doormouse’ has a similar habit with attractive white felted leaves and yellow daisy flowers. It is perhaps a good companion for B. bidwillii.
B. monroi and B. ‘Sunshine’ (otherwise confusingly known as Senecio greyi or Dunedin Group) are completely hardy and wind tolerant species which are much more widely grown. They can grow up to 3-5ft in height but can readily be clipped into a hedge around a border or on the edge of your seaside garden. B. monroi is the smaller growing of the two in height but, if left unchecked, both can spread to 6ft or so. Their terminal panicles of yellow flowers set against the dark or olive green leaves are a delight in summer.
Brachyglottis do best in hot, well-drained soil in full sun. Semi ripe cuttings root easily in summer in the mist bench and this genus has no notable pest or disease problems.