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Best uses

Best used in a border to create texture or on a large rockery. Great for coastal plantings where it will easily tolerate wind and drought.

Physical characteristics

A small robust spreading evergreen shrub that grows up to 1m tall and 1.5m wide.

Flowers and foliage

Stout branches covered with brown hairs produce large leathery oblong deep green leaves which are brown and hairy underneath. White daisy flowers with yellow centres flower prolifically through summer followed by brown fluffy seedheads.

Preferred site

Prefers full sun and well-draining soil. Tolerates wind, drought, coastal and exposed sites. It will also tolerate moderate frosts once established. Dislikes humidity and once established dislikes too much root disturbance.

Preparation for planting

Always choose healthy well grown plants and plant after autumn rains as the soil is moist and warm and allows plants to become established before winter. This enables them to withstand dry periods during the following summer. Young plants require thorough watering during dry periods over the first two or three years mulching helps to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Planting success is often improved on clay soils by adding extra topsoil and raising beds. Incorporate coarse sand, bark, compost or other organic material to improve soil structure.

Before planting ensure the root ball is saturated and remove the planter bag or pot with minimal root disturbance. Trim any broken roots and plant at the same level as in the container. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the root ball and firm in and water once planted. Make sure plants are watered well until established if planting in a drier period. Plant with some general slow release fertiliser and then every spring apply an organic based fertiliser such as blood and bone at a handful per square meter as new growth begins. The worst fate for a plant is to be planted in a hole where the root ball is allowed to sink below the surrounding ground level. Therefore it is generally desirable to plant into slightly raised beds of well cultivated soil. This improves drainage and provides near surface roots with well aerated soil in which to grow.

Maintenance tips

Mulching annually helps suppress weeds and conserve moisture. Organic materials such as sawdust and bark contribute to soil structure as they decompose but keep mulching material away from the trunk. They benefit from a dressing (50g/m2) of general purpose fertiliser in early spring as new growth begins this will encourage more vigorous healthy growth. Sprinkle evenly and work into the top 2 to 3cm of the soil taking care not to damage surface roots.

The first summer and autumn after planting is critical for young plants; water thoroughly during dry periods. Pests and diseases can have serious debilitating effects on young plants; check regularly.

Pruning is not normally required for this plant other than maybe the removal of old flower stems or the odd leggy growth to help promote a more bushy habit.

Pests and diseases

Pest and disease free.

Location at Auckland Botanic Gardens

Native Plant Ideas