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Products > Thomasia solanacea 'Velvet Star'
 
Thomasia solanacea 'Velvet Star' - Solanum-like Thomasia
   

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Sterculiaceae (Cacaoss)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [Lasiopetalum solanaceum]
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Thomasia solanacea 'Velvet Star' - (Solanum Leafed Thomasia) - This plant from Western Australia is an upright shrub to 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide with attractive lime green felt-like oakleaf shaped leaves. Sporadically throughout the year and in profusion in mid spring appear the small papery white flowers with dark reddish veins and centers, emerging from ribbed buds that look like a miniature Renaissance Era cathedral dome. It is a great plant for a dry partially shady location, though it can be grown in full sun near the coast with little to no irrigation required once established. Cold hardiness has not been established but this plant tolerated 26 F under shade at our nursery during the January 2007 freeze. It is listed as tolerating coastal conditions and some alkalinity (unusual for a Western Australian plant) and responds well to shearing and pruning so it can be kept smaller than listed above. This plant was introduced in fall 2007 through the UCSC Koala Blooms Australian Plant Introduction Program originally as Thomasia sp. aff. solanacea (UCSC 94.552) but was later determined to be this species. Thomasia is a genus endemic to Western Australia with twenty-five species that nearly all have attractive foliage and flowers that are showy because of 5 lobed showy sepals, while the actual petals are minute or absent. The genus name honors botanical collectors Peter and Abraham Thomas.  This description is based on our research and the observations we have made 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 if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Thomasia solanacea 'Velvet Star'.
 
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