Alphabetical Plant Listing

Astelia 'Silver Shadow' (Silver Spear)

Silver Spear 'Silver Shadow'


Adding striking color and form to the garden, Astelia 'Silver Shadow' (Silver Spear) is a very ornamental evergreen perennial with long, silver, sword-like leaves, elegantly arched and terminating in a sharp definite point. Usually buried down in the architectural foliage, pale yellowish green flowers are produced on female plants in spring. Not particularly showy, they give way to orange berries in the summer.

Easy to cultivate, Astelia is primarily grown for its decorative foliage and the stunning focal point it creates in the garden. It is an ideal specimen plant for brightening up shady areas and represents an unusual alternative to Phormiums (New Zealand Flax).

  • Adds drama to the garden and grows up to 2-3 ft. high (60-90 cm) and 3-4 ft. wide (90-120 cm).
  • Easily grown in fertile, moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers soils which doesn’t dry out too much during the growing season. Can be grown in sun, though prefer partial shade. Provide a sheltered location. The foliage can be damaged by frost and prevailing cold winds. May need winter protection. Salt and drought tolerant.
  • Deer and rabbit resistant
  • Adding structure and silver color, Astelia is a great choice for beds and borders, city gardens, coastal gardens or Mediterranean gardens.  They look incredible mixed with Salvias, Eryngium, Perovskia and Lavender. Excellent as container plant too! 
  • Virtually pest and disease free.
  • Propagate by seed, sow seeds in containers in a cold frame as soon as ripe. Divide in spring if necessary.
  • Remove or trim winter damaged foliage in spring

Reminiscent of stemless Cordyline or Phormium, Astelia are clump forming perennials most native to New Zealand. There are around 25 species of Astelia, the most widely available being Astelia chathamica or ‘Silver Spear’, which forms large clumps of long, arching, silver sword-like leaves; and Astelia nervosa, which forms tighter clumps and has narrower leaves with a metallic sheen. 

 

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 9
Heat Zones 8 – 9
Climate Zones 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 36" – 48" (90cm – 120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Salt
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 9
Heat Zones 8 – 9
Climate Zones 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 36" – 48" (90cm – 120cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Salt
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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