Most distinct of the Astelia, very broad silver foliage.
Astelia of the Asteliaceae family have deservedly become popular in New Zealand gardens, due to their strength of form, tough constitution, and a trend towards ensiform (sword-shaped) leaves. Most attention has focused on the Chatham Island species, Astelia chathamica. This species tolerates dry and normal conditions but requires good drainage to thrive. Both frost hardy and wind tolerant this flax-like 1.5 metre by 1.5 metre plant can work on its own or planted in a large mass. Dark green male flowers and pale greenish-white female flowers appear on different plants between October and December. From February through to July the red or orange fruit appears.
Known by Māori as the Kakaha this plant occupies a range of moist sites including forest floors, cliffs, rock bluffs, stream margins, as well as in swamps.
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