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Products > Thomasia solanacea 'Velvet Star'
Thomasia solanacea 'Velvet Star' - Solanum-like Thomasia
Image of Thomasia solanacea 'Velvet Star'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Malvaceae (w/Bombacaceae & Sterculeacea)
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) - An upright shrub to 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide with attractive lime green felt-like oakleaf shaped leaves that when have starlike hairs on new growth. Sporadically throughout the year and in profusion in mid spring appear the small papery white flowers with dark reddish veins and centers that emerge from ribbed buds that look like a miniature Renaissance Era cathedral dome.

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 well 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.

Thomasia solanacea is typically and understory woodland shrub in south-western Western Australia. The genus is 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 and the specific epithet means "like a Solanum", the nightshade plant in the Solanaceae. The 'Velvet Star' cultivar was introduced in fall 2007 through the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum Koala Blooms Australian Plant Introduction Program originally as Thomasia sp. aff. solanacea (UCSC 94.552) but was later determined to be this species and given the cultivar name. We have grown it continually since its introduction. 

This information about Thomasia solanacea 'Velvet Star' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.