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Products > Phylica pubescens
Phylica pubescens - Featherhead

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Rhamnaceae (Buckthorns)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Yellow/Chartreuse Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [P. plumosa, Hort.]
Height: 4-5 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Phylica pubescens (Featherhead) - Phylica pubescens is an attractive dense evergreen shrub to 4 to 5 feet tall with narrow leaves that are about 1 inch long and are densely covered with golden hairs. The leaves become congested and joined by feather bracts that form showy flattened plumose heads hiding small whitish brow flowers from fall through late winter. The flowers though hidden do have a faint aroma of cinnamon but are secondary to the showy golden flower bracts that catch the sunlight and glow so position this plant in an open space in the garden to catch early morning or late afternoon light. Plant in full sun and irrigate little to occasionally. Tolerates seaside conditions. Hardy to temperatures down to the low 20's F. This species grows in Cape Town eastwards on dry sandstone and limestone slopes. Because of the showy plumose heads it is often mistakenly listed as Phylica plumosa, a smaller shrub that grows along the west coast north of Cape Town. Phylica pubescens is extensively used in the cut flower trade for filler foliage. We also grow the larger Phylica arborea from the Tristan da Cuhuna Islands.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Phylica pubescens.