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Products > Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear'
 
Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear' - Silver Spear
  
Working on getting this plant back in the field but it is currently not available listing for information only!
Image of Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear'
[2nd Image]
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. We starting growing this plant in 1987 from plants imported from Duncan & Davies Nursery in New Zealand and first listed it in our 1988 catalog. We believe this was the first time this plant was commercially grown in California. Unfortunately we have not been able to acquire good seed or laboratory produced plants since 2015 and until such time that we can do so have replaced it with Astelia 'Silver Shadow', a very attractive smaller plant with similar silver foliage that is a hybrid between Astelia chathamica and Astelia nervosa.  The information displayed on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also consider observations that we have made of it growing in the nursery's garden and in other gardens, as well how it has performed in our crops out in the nursery field. We will incorporate comments that we receive from others as well, and welcome hear from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they have knowledge of cultural information we do not mention that would aid others in growing Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear'.
 
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