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CALOCEPHALUS 'Silver Sand'

Image of Calocephalus 'Silver Sand'

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

CALOCEPHALUS 'Silver Sand'

Plant Common Name

Cushion Bush, Silver Sand Cushion Bush

General Description

This is a selection, prized for its leaf colors, of a mounding, dry-climate perennial native to coastal bluffs of south and western Australia as well as Tasmania. There it encounters persistent winds and salt spray, a regimen that has made it a near perfect coastal plant for water conservation. The foliage of ‘Silver Sand’ is composed of scale-like leaves on finely divided branchlets. The leaves are a a more intense silvery hue than the parent species and the plant’s habit is a dense mound, hence its common name Cushion Bush. In summer, the plant covers itself with pale-yellow, round-headed flowers.

Grow‘Silver Sands’ on open slopes where soils are dry and well-drained. This plants prefers alkaline conditions and will grow happily in sharp sand. It cannot abide heavy, fertile soils. This perennial looks for mild, rainy winters and dry summers with minimal supplemental watering. It may grow semi-dormant in the late-summer dry season, remaining so until rains return. If provided occasional deep supplemental watering the plant retains a more vibrant silver coloring. Grow this perennial in full sun anywhere the soil is well drained even if it is of marginal fertility. Combine with other arid Australians, Mediterraneans, and western American natives which share similar water requirements.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    6 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    26"-36" / 66.0cm - 91.4cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring

  • Native To

    Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Silver

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Silver

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Silver

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Silver

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No