Featherhead

Phylica pubescens

Veerkoppie, Verekoppie (Afr.)

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A highly attractive bush densely covered with hairy leaves, the Feather Head is a great addition to your temperate garden as each hair gathers the sunlight and seems to glow. Being a long-lasting fresh cut-flower, it also dries very well and serves as a fantastic filler plant. This is not only a great ornamental plant but along with its beauty, it will fill your garden a slightly cinnamon scent. Phylicas (hardeblaarplante) consist of 150 species with most on South Africa, Madagascar and close-by islands. ZA Distribution: Western Cape.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Autumn, Winter

Fruiting time

Spring

Harvesting

Harvest flowers by cutting stem as close as possible to the base of the stem, all at equal lengths for best effect. Ants are highly attracted to the seeds, thus making it hard to harvest. Seeds must be gathered as soon as possible by hand.

Propagation

Seed

Seeds is collected in Spring and is sown in Autumn in a well-drained seedling mix. Keep them damp. Transplant into a well-drained sandy mix when about 30mm tall without disturbing the roots..

Special features

Attracts useful insects

The flowers attract different species of bees, flies and beetles.

Pot plant

Can be grown in containers, given sufficient drainage holes.

Drought resistant

Relatively drought tolerant once well-established, suitable for xeriscaping.

Attracts bees

Attractive flowers

Flowers are white with long brownish tips.

Special features

Origin

South Africa

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand, Clay

Soil PH preference

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Cut flower

Have a long vase life or can be dried.

Personality

Family

Rhamnaceae

Flower colour

White

Scent

Mild

Problems

Generally pest and disease free. Take care to get rid of ants before using flowers in arrangements!

Credits

profile iconPhylica pubescens
by Jane Forrester, Harold Porter National Botanical Garden, December 2004 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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