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HELICHRYSUM thianschanicum

Image of Helichrysum thianschanicum

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

HELICHRYSUM thianschanicum

Plant Common Name

Licorice Plant

General Description

The crisp, silvery gray foliage of the licorice plant is fine and luxuriant. This tender perennial originates from the drier parts of Central Asia. Where hardy, it survives as a low, shrubby evergreen, but it is most commonly grown as bedding filler for containers and sunny flower gardens because its bright, neutral foliage compliments many colorful annuals. Once established, it is quite tough and drought tolerant.

Licorice plant is tidy, clump-forming and covered with slender, lance-shaped leaves that are slivery gray leaves. These have a anise scent when crushed. From early to midsummer, mature plants bear small clusters of small, button-like, yellow flowers that attract bees and butterflies. Once spent, the old flower heads should be cut back to keep plants looking neat.

Grow licorice plant in full to partial sun and fertile to average alkaline soil with sharp drainage. It tolerates mild freezes and may fully die to the ground at its northernmost hardiness zone. Where tender, this is commonly grown as a bedding plant for beds and containers. Elsewhere it can be grown in a rockery, as edging or in a dry perennial border. The common cultivar 'Icicles' has very narrow, linear foliage that is powdery silver.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    16, 17, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    12"-16" / 30.5cm - 40.6cm

  • Width

    12"-16" / 30.5cm - 40.6cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Central Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Gold, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Gray Green, Silver, Gray

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Gray Green, Silver, Gray

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green, Silver, Gray

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Gray Green, Silver, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Hanging Basket, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No