Berzelia is a small genus with around 12 species. Used widely for cut flowers Berzelia lanuginos, rubra, squarrosa and stokoei are the most commonly used by florists.
Grown for the clusters of flowers used in flower arrangements, as well as the foliage, this group of plants from South Africa are that do like a little moisture and can also make good garden plants.
The flowers are usually rounded, like small buttons so these perennials are often commonly called ‘Button Bush’.
Growth habit varies between species and depends also on climate and soil.
Popular Berzelia Species
- Berzelia lanuginosa has an upright habit to around 2m in height, it grows in vase shape. Flowers form at the end of the stems and appear in spring. The plant forms a sort of umbrella shape when in full flower.
- Berzelia squarossa is a species that has the common name of Spider Bush, this comes from the wiry stems. This one reaches around 1.5m in height (4-5ft) and it grows in soil with a little more moisture than others.
- Berzelia albiflora (syn Brunia albiflora) is taller growing to around 3m (9ft)
How to grow Berzelia
A well drained soil with some moisture and a sunny position are essential.
- Choose a sunny position.
- Prepare soil well ensuring it is well drained.
- Plant and water in.
- Mulch around the plant too suppress weeds.
- Water deeply during hot dry summers always allowing the soil to dry just a little between waterings.
- Fertilise using a low phosphate fertiliser in late winter to spring.