With its silvery stems that seem to grow in all directions, this little shrub which no one retains the name captures wonderfully light in any season. Its gray-green color and striking silhouette make it an original variety, while it is easy to find in garden centers and even easier to grow. So many good reasons to finally remember his name: Calocephalus!
A silver foliage from Tanzania
A distant cousin of daisies and dandelions, the calocephalus began to make its home on the other side of the world, and more precisely in the far south of Australia. It was discovered in the early nineteenth century by Scottish explorer-botanist Robert Brown, who brought over four thousand species of plants from a long expedition to Oceania.As often, the shrub bears the name of its discoverer: Calocephalus brownii.
With its strange stems that seem leafless, the shrub is covered with a whitish silk that makes you want to touch it to verify that it is not artificial. In summer, it is covered with small yellow flowers and discreet. But the interest of Calocephalus does not lie in its flowering, but in its branches, which remain beautiful all year long, even when it is overwhelmed by the cold in winter.
Calocephalus: instructions for use
In the South, Calocephalus can live for several years if it is planted in a sunny place where it can warm up and dry quickly after a downpour. Everywhere else, it is considered under our country as an annual plant, which is installed in spring or autumn and is torn at the end of winter. Easy to grow, the shrub of Tanzania also enjoys oceanic climates and fears neither spray nor drought, so it is ideal for seaside gardens.
Not very demanding, Calocéphalus prefers poor and sandy soils, more draining, and asks to be watered only if it is planted in pot, allowing to dry well the ground between two waterings. It is therefore also a variety to recommend for gardening, balcony or windowsills.
What to associate with a Calocephalus?
A true botanical curiosity all by itself, the Calocéphalus is remarkable for its ability to highlight other varieties. Depending on its taste, we can marry its gray and silver shades to white, yellow, pink or purple flowers. Traditionally, it is planted in autumn next to cyclamen and white and pink heather. In the spring, it is just as sublime with white crocuses, tulips or sweet peas!
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