The largest of the Spaniard Grasses, this is native to sub-alpine montane grasslands on the South Island of New Zealand where it does experience snow. The plant forms large tussocks whose needle sharp blue-green leaves can reach 3' long. Perhaps best of all, it has a spike of soft yellow flowers up to 9' tall. Not a true grass but in the carrot family.
Silver Spears. Very nice sculptural plant with inimitable form and color. This will get 3' tall or larger if supremely happy and the color is best in bright, light shade or at least not in hot afternoon sun. This is from the Chatham Islands in New Zealand and is hardy here in mild gardens and good against a wall. Below 25F you might think about tossing a sleeping bag over it. A great plant for all you folks sheltered gardens or who like to overwinter containers inside. `
Funky evergreen alpine groundcover from New Zealand we call the 'Slug Egg Plant' but for purposes of marketing with an eye to sales, let's call it 'Strewn Pearls'. Unheralded but stealing the show with translucent round pale white fruit scattered on it's surface. Needs a male plant to make it happen.
Beautiful variegated form of this new Zealand Griselinia. As the species name suggests, this favors coastal conditions and can take the wind. We saw the typical form growing happily at Robin's Hood Bay in England as we finished the Coast to Coast walk. Think a much more refined laurel and you are in the ballpark. Easy to prune, gets to 12', zones 8b-9 or warm 8a.
Very rare groundcover species from Southland and Stewart Island, New Zealand where this is restricted to just 4 small coastal populations comprised of just 6 individual plants. The plants form flattened brown-gray rosettes - and spread by stolons in moist dune hollows. Our plants have green leaves which may refer to our soils or geography.
A mat-forming, creeping bit of amusement from New Zealand where it grows from Auckland south. This is related to the monster Gunnera of cast concrete leaf fame but is just a tad more manageable. Great at pond's edge in the shaded woodland and small pipecleaners of reddish flowers are a pleasant surprise.
A superb compact and very floriferous plant we got from the sadly late Michael Wickenden at Cally Gardens in Scotland. This is just about the perfect little container plant with low, dense tuffets of deep green narrow blades of leaves and a profusion of small white flowers on short stems which retain interest long after flowering with their seed heads.
Very rare Libertia - which is a genus in the Iris family - from New Zealand which was thought to be extinct until a population of 30 individuals was discovered in 2006. Closely allied to Libertia ixioides, this species is critically endangered in the wild but gardeners are helping with ex situ conservation through cultivation. Evergreen olive-green leaves to 15"-18" on a clump forming plant with white flowers and persistent orange-ish seed pods.
Excellent dwarf grass forming dense tussocks with dark seedheads bobbing on wiry stems. Choice little plant for the rock garden or trough and suitable for the open garden in that special little niche.
Sweet little groundcover whose double white flowers resemble fluffy bits of white popcorn strewn on the leaves. Perfect underplanting for other shade plants to pop up through and great between stepping stones. Gently spreading and not hard to keep in bounds. Darnn near perfect.
Ok, this is delightful! A small evergreen subshrub which has these shiny little leaves on mahogany stems with sprays of lavender-blue with a distinctive magenta ring enclosing a white eye. This happily flowers from June until frost and shearing off the spent flowers encourages continued bloom. This makes a 10"x24" billow of foliage and flower in sun to part sun.
Mountain Toatoa. Middle-earth mind-bender of a conifer in the Podocarpaceae from the mountains of New Zealand. At first glance and even after a period of unhurried contemplation, this defies easy categorization. Small flattened phylloclades take up the photosynthetic reins from the vestigial leaves and the narrow pyramidal shrub has no comparatives in the garden. Sl-o-o-o-w growing, these are small plants with a steady return on investment.
Poor Knight's Lily. Crazy good plant endemic to 3 islands off of New Zealand's North Island where it grows in rocky outcrops. Evergreen sword leaves to 3' with stunning red bottlebrush flowers that are like nothing else. It is frost-sensitive and can take 15 years to flower but if potbound, you can shave some years off.The wait will be completely worth it.
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