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Products > Helichrysum petiolare
Helichrysum petiolare - Licorice Plant

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflowers)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Tan
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Helichrysum petiolatum]
Height: 2-4 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Helichrysum petiolare (Licorice Plant) - A clambering and attractive shrub that will creep up anything that will give it support (up to 30 feet) or form a moderately large dense shrub to 6 feet tall by 10 feet wide out in the open with aromatic soft oval woolly silver-white leaves to 1 1/2 inches long. The cream-colored flowers rising above the foliage in summer are only 1/4 inch wide but in clusters 2 inches or more across, and, while not overly attractive, do not detract from the foliage. Plant in sun or light shade, with regular, occasional to infrequent irrigation - drought tolerant in coastal gardens but requiring more frequent irrigation inland. This plant was originally thought to be much smaller but with time gardeners found that it grew fairly large; one friend of ours noted that their plant was the size and shape of a Volkswagen Beetle. This plant comes from drier locations of the Cape of South Africa from Grahamstown to the south-western Cape. The specific epithet is from the Latin word 'petiolus' meaning "small foot" in reference to the petiole or leaf attachment stem that this species has. In the San Francisco Bay area this plant has done exceeding well and, in fact it has done too well, displacing native plants in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and other sensitive coastal habitats. For this reason it is listed in this region as "invasive" and gardeners are asked not to plant this plant in this region by the California Invasive Plant Council. For this reason we have discontinued production of this plant.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Helichrysum petiolare.