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Bupleurum - Growing Guide
Caring for Bupleurum fruiticosum – Shrubby Hare’s Ear
This is an evergreen or semi-evergreen subshrub from Mediterranean areas. It is a superb plant for hot dry coastal conditions and a regular favourite for many of our customers who live in more urban or city situations. It also grows well in chalky districts.
At Ventnor Botanic Gardens bupleurum self-seeds itself in very dry areas below established olive trees. It grows to around 6ft there tall with a loose spreading habit which extends to 8-10ft wide. In Cornwall we have not seen it achieve these sorts of heights but it is certainly a colourful addition to a shrub or herbaceous border with its yellow flowers normally from July to September.
The leaves are an attractive blue-green colour and up to 3in long on slender erect and mainly unbranched shoots. As you can see the flowers are plentiful in terminal umbels all over the plant.
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Bupleurum fruiticosum benefits from a light pruning of its leading shoots in spring to encourage more new growth and flowers. It can however be readily pruned much harder if it gets too large or has flopped over. Perhaps also after some blackening of the leaves after a colder winter. This too will reinvigorate your plant.
We find that semi-ripe cuttings root well (with bottom heat) in mid-summer before flowering takes place. Cuttings taken too early or too late in the summer have been a failure here.