Thursday, April 24, 2014

My favorite plant this week: Halimium x pauanum

I was ready to present another plant this week when my heart was caught off-guard by a new acquisition, Halimium x pauanum, a plant I'd never heard of, much less seen, until I tripped over it at my local garden center.  On our initial acquaintance, I was attracted by the upright, lavender-like foliage but, knowing nothing whatsoever about the plant other than what was on the label, I took down the name, vowing to check it out before committing myself.  A week later on a return visit to the garden center, having failed to conduct any research whatsoever, there it was again, waiting for me, flaunting bright yellow flowers.  I'm a sucker for yellow flowers so onto the cart it went.  Last weekend, it found appropriate placement in full sun and well-drained soil on the southeast side of the garden.

Halimium x pauanum, sitting alongside Argyranthemum 'Comet Yellow' and Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow'




Some hours after I planted it, I noticed that all the flower petals had dropped.  My initial assumption was that this was either the result of transplant shock or a response to the winds that whip through our property almost every afternoon.  However, on-line references informed me that this is characteristic of the plant.  It sheds its blooms after several hours, only to produce another flush of blooms the following morning.  The plant's behavior has proven the truth of this statement.  Flowering is projected for the period from May through July.  Like almost everything in my garden, the plant is getting a head start on its bloom period.

The foliage is an attractive silvery green.




The genus wasn't even listed in my Sunset Western Garden Book but there were numerous references to the plant on-line.  According to a 2007 article published by Pacific Horticulture magazine, it's another kind of rock rose, a cousin to Cistus.  The genus originates in the Mediterranean areas of southern Europe and northern Africa.  Many of the nurseries with posts on the plant are located in the Pacific Northwest and the plant is said to be well-suited to areas with hot, dry summers and mild winters.  I found that Plant Lust features the Halimium with a picture credited to the esteemed host of this meme, Loree of danger garden.

Predictions of the plant's size vary from one source to another.  Native Sons, the grower of my plant, projects growth to 3 feet (1 meter) tall and wide.  It's said to be cold hardy to 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit (-15C).

This pretty yellow-flowered plant is my contribution to Loree's weekly favorite plant meme.  Please visit her at danger garden to see her current favorite and to find links to the selections of other participating gardeners.


14 comments:

  1. What a cool new plant! I love it when something just captures your attention at the nursery and won't let go. You were lucky to be able to go back and find it still there.

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    1. Yes, the only difficulty is that I seem to fall in love once a week or so, which can be hard on the pocketbook!

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  2. Good for you for getting it! This is a new plant to me but buying a plant with no knowledge of it simply because you like something about it is quite familliar!

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    1. I wonder when plant addiction will be added to the list of serious psychological disorders? I could be the poster child.

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  3. Well I can quite see why this plant had your name on it. It looks wonderful with the Euphorbia and the Argyranthemum.

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    1. It does, doesn't it?! I was concerned it would be overkill on the use of yellow in that area.

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  4. Cool, a nice new plant for me and a new plant to look out for!

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    1. It sounds as though the plant would be well-suited to your climate!

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  5. I haven't seen that plant before. The flowers really glow!

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    1. In a garden with many yellow plants, they still stand out, SweetBay.

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  6. Esteemed? Gosh I'm blushing!

    Sadly all three of my halimium have died, and I don't know why. I'm hoping your gorgeous plant will be long lived!

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  7. Dropping flowers just to regrow them the next morning - fascinating! You have willpower - I wouldn't have been able to leave it I don't think. I've tried it before, but I didn't like it ;)

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  8. I've been spending WAY too much on plants recently, Amy, so I'm trying (and obviously failing) to be more judicious about my purchases.

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