With attractive strap like foliage, Astelia chathamica is a clump forming perennial grown mainly for the foliage. It is the silvery green foliage that is the attraction, A. chathamica will flower, however they are rather insignificant, being outshone by the large orange to red berries that follow. It is the cultivar ‘Silver Spear’ that is regarded as having the best foliage.
Used in the perennial border as an accent plant A. chathamica makes a a good foil for sedums. It also works well as a background plant for lower growing succulents.
Astelia chathamica Care
Best in a well drained humus rich soil, a position in part shade suits this plant in warmer climates. Try for afternoon shade.
Reaching around 1m in height, look for a position where it will be seen, yet will not over shadow lower growing plants.
New plants should be watered in well with a liquid seaweed fertiliser. Additional water through the first summer is recommended.
Astelia are a small group of plants with the best known being Astelia chathamica a strap leafed plant originating in New Zealands Catham Islands. However other species are also worth exploring.
- Astelia chathamica ‘Silver spear’ is well known.
- Astelia solandri strappy foliage with pink flowers
- Astelia australiana is a rare lily from the Otway ranges in Victoria.
- Astelia banksii is a coastal plant.
- Astelia nervosa Westland is a popular cultivar used as a border plant.
Astelia are available for sale from the following nurseries
1070 Jacksons Track, Jindivick 3818
Specialising in growing and selling Rare and Unusual Trees, shrubs Perennials Bulbs and Climbers, a unique nursery with amazing stock.
P O Box 398 Creswick Vic 3363
Retail & Mail Order Specialist Growers of Heritage Roses, Unusual Perennials, Tree & Herbaceous Peonies. Mail order and Nursery Sales.