By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers
As summer transitions into fall, one plant that will still be in its glory is bracteantha ‘Granvia Gold’. This super strawflower has been blooming like crazy in landscape trials from Alabama to Minnesota through heat, wind and rain. Evaluators have been noticing resistance to mildew, a common problem in traditional bracteantha varieties.
This is partly due to a much larger, more open growth habit, allowing in more air and sunlight. Granvia plants are vigorous, make a statement in landscapes and easily fill large patio planters. Longer stems lend themselves to floral applications in fresh cut bouquets. And the crispy flower heads are perfect for dried arrangements and crafts.
Bred in Australia, strawflowers are also known as everlasting flowers under botanical names, Helichrysum bracteatum or Xerochrysum bracteatum. They are perennials, but only hardy to zones 10-11 and treated like an annual in most climates.
Sunny golden yellow flowers create lots of interest. In addition to having the touchable, papery straw texture, they close up into tight yellow balls overnight and during rainy, cloudy days. As the buds initially open, they have a partially open, origami stage before completely opening with a dark, fuzzy, darker yellow-orange center.
One thing that’s deceiving about a living “dried” flower is these plants do need water and can be quite thirsty in a planter. Best positioning is full sun for maximum flowering.
Multi-season interest and performance provides months of enjoyment. If you purchase Granvia Gold in the spring, you can expect the plants to continue to bloom until frost. As plants die in the winter, existing blooms will continue to hang on for a while as dried flowers.
Be on the lookout for Granvia Gold in the fall plant assortments at your favorite retailers.
By Justin Hancock, Monrovia Horticultural Craftsman
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
Labor Day may represent summer’s unofficial close but now is a perfect opportunity to add late-summer perennials that will continue to beautify your landcare until fall arrives. click here for an article that identifies 9 perennials for late summer.
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