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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.
1-2015-08-07 09 51 15

Plant of the Week: Strawflower

This week's plant of the week is one of my favorite flowers, the Strawflower (Xerochrysum bracteata). As a florist, I've come to appreciate flowers that hold up really well as a cut flower, as well as a dried flower, and strawflower is great in both categories. It lasts very well in a vase and looks almost exactly the same in color and shape once dried.

The flower on this annual plant is considered to be a paper daisy because it features daisy-like flowers (1-3" diameter) with central yellow disks surrounded by glossy, papery, rigid, petal-like bracts in yellow, orange, red, pink or white. Bracts have a straw-like texture, hence the common name. If you run your hand over the flower, you can easily hear the papery, rustling sound that results.

You can find strawflower varieties in a variety of heights ranging from 1-5 feet. Dwarf varieties could be used in rock gardens, for edging or in containers or window boxes. Or taller varieties could be used in borders. I have my strawflower growing in a raised bed and my particular variety is about 4 feet tall.

Strawflower can be grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun, though it does tolerate some light shade. I like to start my strawflower seed seed indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date and then plant as transplants into the garden.

Learn more here and here.

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