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Herbaceous Perennial

Astelia fragrans

A clump-forming evergreen herbaceous perennial, to around 1m (39in) high and across, bearing mid-green strap-shaped leaves which are bright, metallic silver on their undersides. These arch upwards and outwards from the base of the plant and can be up to 1.2m (4ft) long and 8cm (3½in) across. Green, fragrant flowers appear in panicles in the centre of the plant in spring, followed by clusters of orange berries on female plants around 1cm (½in) in diameter in summer. The plant is dioecious - producing either male or female plants, meaning both male and female plants are required for the female to produce berries. An architectural plant, its dramatic foliage providing a useful focal-point in courtyard and urban gardens.

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Green Grey Silver
Summer Green Grey Silver Orange
Autumn Green Grey Silver
Winter Green Grey Silver
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Asteliaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Astelia are clump-forming, rhizomatous evergreen perennials with arching, linear, keeled, silvery leaves and panicles of small, pale greenish or brown flowers, followed on female plants by orange or red berries

Name status

Correct

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How to grow

Cultivation

A half-hardy perennial which may need protection against hard frosts and temperatures below -10°C. It is happy in well-drained but moisture-retentive soil, in partial shade.

Propagation

Propagate by division spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Coastal
  • Gravel garden
  • Sub-tropical
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Remove or trim winter-damaged foliage in spring

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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