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Alpine RockeryHerbaceous Perennial

Acaena microphylla

New Zealand bur

An evergreen perennial with prostrate rooting stems and small, pinnate leaves tinged bronze when young. Globular whitish flowerheads, on short stems, are followed by attractive reddish burrs 2.5cm in width

Other common names
New Zealand burr
rosy-spined New Zealand bur
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Size
Ultimate height
Up to 10cm
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Bronze
Summer White Red
Autumn Red
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or North–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Rosaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Matforming
Genus

Acaena can be evergreen perennials or subshrubs with pinnate leaves with dentate leaflets. Tiny flowers are carried in a dense rounded head or spike, followed by attractive burr-like fruiting heads

Name status

Correct

Plant range
New Zealand

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. Useful ground cover between paving stones as it tolerates being trodden on but in borders its creeping habit means it can spread. This plant is listed on Schedule 9 of The Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order (1985), as amended, as an invasive non-native species. While this does not prevent it from being sold or being grown in gardens in Northern Ireland, the RHS encourages those that do grow it to take great care with managing it and with disposing of unwanted material. The RHS also encourages gardeners in Northern Ireland to find alternative plants to grow to those listed on Schedule 9. For suggested alternative plants see the Plantlife/RHS guide, Gardening without harmful invasive plants

Propagation

Propagate by division

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Rock garden
  • Gravel garden
  • Ground cover
  • Banks and slopes
Pruning

Pull out rooted stems to restrict its spread

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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