This Months: Plant in Profile

I think of this plant as a bit of a ‘blast from the past’. I remember it being well displayed the ‘in vogue’ nurseries in the mid 1970’s. Back in the day when a little bit of everything made up the garden.

Now I find myself using it en masse and together with strapped leafed plants and grasses.

‘Goldfussia’ grows to 1m and forms a good shaped loose clump that fits well within its space. It likes full sun as do the grasses it blends well with.

It has some good value characteristics. The first being the pea shaped mauve flower spikes that sit just above the foliage and last for 4-6 weeks and also flower sporadically throughout the year. Secondly, it performs well in full sun and part shade. It also takes on a darker shade of black/blue foliage when in full sun. This enhances the plant making the foliage a nicer blend when the lilac mauve flowers appear in spring.

As with most plants it responds to moisture and good drainage so mulching does improve performance. It responds well to a bit of a prune after flowers finish where fresh shoots produce more foliage. This tidying is not necessary if you like a slightly dishevelled look, as I do! It is grown widely in warmer climates but will cope with temperate winters where frosts are not severe.

I think the biggest drawback is the common name, ‘Goldfussia’ just sounds awful! Try it particularly if you have a bit of a prejudice against it as I did! Used en masse, I think you will like it.