Thursday, June 12, 2014

Brachyglottis greyi is my favorite plant in the garden; this week…

Brachyglottis greyi, or maybe you know it as Senecio greyi, is one of those plants I’d been eyeing for years before finally making the purchase. What took me so long? The flowers are ugly!

I’d see it in the nurseries and fall hard every time for the blue/grey, spoon-shaped, felted foliage with dense, white, powdery undersides. Add the thin white outline around the edge of each leaf and wow, gotta have it! But then I’d remember the flowers. I finally came to my senses last year and realized I cut the flowers I don’t like off other plants, why not this one?

Since one of my favorite things about this plant is the underside of the leaves I got lucky with its placement. Planted next to the front steps I can see the backsides glowing even from inside the house.

Pretty fabulous no?

Pinching the plant to keep it compact and get rid of any flower buds has made for a very full little shrub.

I’ll let it grow over the summer though because last year I saw this image (source). And would really like to recreate something similar next Christmas with cuttings.

The stats:
  • common name Daisy Bush, native to New Zealand
  • broadleaf evergreen shrub, to 4-5 ft tall and 6 ft wide, although reportedly easy to keep smaller - an important feature for where I planted it!
  • likes sun, does well in coastal environments
  • cold hardy to USDA Zone 8        
  • drought tolerant, deer resistant

So about those flowers...as usual when I decide I must have something I fall for it in a big way, I planted two Brachyglottis greyi last summer, one in a place where I don't see it up close and personal every day. It managed to flower when I wasn't paying attention, I guess they aren't that bad...

So have you ever not bought a plant because of the look of it's flowers? Do you ever cut the flowers off your plants? And of course I want to know what's looking good in your garden this week...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

31 comments:

  1. I dig it! Will look for a couple of for my own garden. I think the flowers are actually quite cheery. There a far uglier flowers out there :-).

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    1. And those far uglier flowers? They're probably ones I love!

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  2. Lila doesn't seem impressed but I am. I love gray/silver foliage. The flowers don't look bad to me (but then I love yellow). I cut the flowers off plants if I think they clash with my color scheme - the variegated Pelargoniums are the worst offenders.

    My favorite this week also has silvery foliage: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2014/06/my-favorite-plant-this-week-lupinus.html Thanks for hosting, Loree!

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    1. Lila is very hard to impress when it comes to plants. Her current fav is the hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass). It's rather cool to crawl under on a warm sunny afternoon. Love your fav!

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  3. For years I wanted Canna 'Intrigue'...but hated the flowers. Then I realized the same thing...that I could just cut them off...of course, I realized it right as all the nurseries seemed to sell out...and then I kind of lost interest anyway.

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    1. Scott I think I would pass out if I saw a canna in your garden!

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  4. Looking good, love the silvery foliage. We have chosen a Magnolia this week. http://www.alternativeeden.com/2014/06/favourite-plant-of-week-magnolia.html

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    1. And you know I love me some magnolias...

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  5. Very, very nice! love that foliage but I don't think those flowers are all that bad, LOL... Frankly I've never really liked the flowers on sempervivum and always cut them off as soon as they start sprouting, and in fact remove the whole rosette because it will die when it's done blooming.

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    1. Really? I love them, sort of an alien fist coming out of the ground which develops eyes. Ah well, we all have our tastes don't we?

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  6. AnonymousJune 13, 2014

    The flowers on Blue Chalk Sticks, Senecio mandraliscae are probably the one plant whose flowers I find ugly. I try to cut them off as they start to bloom, but when planted in mass, it can take a lot of time to get every last one, so it doesn't always happen. No color conflicts, but the flowers look like dandelion seed heads to me.

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    1. Yes I agree! I was pretty excited the first time my blue chalk sticks decided to bloom. That excitement quickly faded however.

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  7. Great plants like in my garden and I love magnolia too!!

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  8. I love this plant too, my MiL has it in her garden and as I wasn't sure I'd find one in a nursery here (in Italy) I took cuttings and brought them back with me, they aren't dead, but they haven't made much (or maybe any) root growth yet; so fingers crossed. I cut the flowers off almost all my Artemesias and Santolinas, they all have horrible yellow flowers.

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    1. Oh that's too bad (not finding it in Italy) because this plant just looks like it would be happy there. I hope your cuttings take off.

      What is it about the yellow flowers do you think, is it a dandelion association?

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  9. I'm not with the theme this week - my favorite plant is my favorite of the week because of the blooms: http://gardenontheedge.blogspot.com - but I have certainly bought plants for foliage, stuff like Artemesia Nana and Chamaecyparis (gold thread leaf cypress).

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    1. I love a good theme rebel! Seriously though, the only theme is what you're loving at the moment.

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  10. Such gorgeous foliage! The flowers aren't so bad. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with the foliage at Christmas!

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    1. Let's just hope there's enough of it that I'll have plenty to work with!

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  11. Love the furry grey leaves! I don't particularly care for the flowers, but they aren't that bad.

    I like the flowers on my favorite this week, but it also has nice foliage.
    http://practicalplantgeek.blogspot.com/2014/06/saxifraga-stolonifera-is-my-favorite.html

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    1. I'm letting them stay, on the second plant. For now.

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  12. I have to admit, I like that cheerful yellow daisy, but I don't like it with those leaves. They just seem to be very mismatched. I don't know if I've ever rejected a plant for having flowers I disliked, but I've definitely rejected some for having flowers I liked and leaves I didn't. Given that the leaves last a lot longer.

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    1. I've tried to like this sort of flower before but always fail, however you're right, they are particularly bad with those leaves.

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  13. I like the silvery foliage, it reminds me of Dymondia margaretae, which I tried to use for a ground cover. The effect the with wreath is very plush. My favorite plant pick of the week is Alpine Strawberries, which are getting ripe now-

    http://weedingonthewildside.blogspot.com/2014/06/my-favorite-plant-pick-week-june-13-2014.html

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  14. I recently acquired one of these without even considering the flowers, never having seen it in bloom. The tip about pinching it back will stand me in good stead...thanks. And Alison, it seems that many powdery grey plants have yellow flowers. I agree that they look out of place (what was Mother Nature thinking?)

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    1. WWMNT? That's gonna be a fun meme.

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  15. Now I love this plant and must find one! Yours looks so healthy, I think the yellow flowers on this gray/silver foliage just look cheerful and gorgeous!

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  16. Oh Lila <3 Definitely worth having even if you need to get rid of the flowers. Beautiful foliage. On their own the flowers are technically nice, but I'm 100% with you! Snip

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  17. I do the same thing and on my Santolinas (Lavender Cotton) as well.

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