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Products > Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear'
 
Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear' - Silver Spear
  

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Asteliaceae (Asparagales)
Origin: New Zealand (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: NA
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear' (Silver Spear) - An evergreen perennial that comes from the Chatham Islands, located over 400 nautical miles east of the North and South Island of New Zealand. It has bold recurving leaves which are a pale green above and silvery-white below and form in a large upright rosette - a large clump - growing to about 4 feet tall and as wide. Plant in sun or part shade in rich well-drained soil with moderate water. Has a low water requirement once established. Rarely flowers and the male and female flowers are on separate plants. Neither are showy and are usually down in the foliage however the orange-red fruit of female plants are noted as attractive - our large plants' inflorescences were too deep in the foliage for the fruit to be noticed. Hardy to about 20-25 degrees F. It is best to trim off old foliage, which withers and dries, to keep plant looking tidy. Feed with a long term, slow releases fertilizer in spring. There are 25 species of Astelia, 13 endemic to New Zealand. Astelia chathamica is likened to a silver flax and in fact has the common name Maori Flax on the Chatham Island. It is endangered in its native habitat. The genus name comes from combining the Greek words 'a' meaning "without" and 'stele' meaning a "trunk" or "pillar" in reference to these plants not forming a stem or trunk. They have long been considered part of the Liliaceae family but most recent treatment puts them in the Asteliaceae family in the Asparagales order with the relatively unknown genera Collospermum, Milligania and Neoastelia.  This description is based on our research and observations of this plant as it grows in containers at our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We also appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or have additional cultural tips that would aid others growing Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear' .
 
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