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Libertia - Growing Guide
Growing and caring for Liberia
Burncoose stocks four different species of Libertia; two from Chile and two from New Zealand, as well as one or two improved varieties. All have coped perfectly well with the occasional hard winter over the years and this genus is certainly hardy to at least -10°C. All are rhizomatous, clump forming, evergreen perennials and their popularity has increased markedly in the last 10 years as gardeners have come to know and appreciate them.
They grow in moist grassy areas in the wild and have linear leathery (perhaps iris-like) leaves. Their flowers are produced in panicles on stalks of white or blue flowers which then develop light brown seed heads. All species grow to no more than 2-3ft in height and, L. formosa particularly, is capable of spreading and self-seeding to colonise large hot dry banks. At Ventnor Botanic Garden there is a particularly fine display.
Libertia grow best in moist but well drained soil in full sun. Division of established clumps in spring is the easiest way or propagating these vigorous plants.
L. caulescens has panicles of gorgeous blue flowers in clusters or umbels in spring. 24”x12”. Chile.
L. formosa is also Chilean. It grows quite a bit taller and has a profusion of white or pale yellow flowers in dense panicles in spring and on into summer. 36”x24”.
L. grandiflora is from New Zealand and is also a taller growing species with long panicles of white flowers in clusters of three or six. 36”x24”. Flowers in late spring and on into summer.
L. ixioides, another from New Zealand, has white flowers in umbel-like clusters. Its leaves may turn orange-brown in winter. 24”x24”.
L. ‘Taupo Sunset’ has most attractive leaves which are striped green, yellow and orange. This is a smaller growing variety with narrow pointed leaves.
L. ‘Goldfinder’ is a compact growing plant with grass-like golden foliage with a bright central yellow stripe and pure white ‘starry’ flowers.