I first saw this growing at a garden called Great Dixter in East Sussex and a mighty fine sight it was too. It needs masses of light and any reasonable soil as long as it's not too dry. The great clumps of spiky leaves reach 5ft and flower spikes to 7ft covered in pale purple fluffy balls. Evergreen in all but the coldest winters. Try cutting down to the ground every few years to avoid a messy mix of old and new foliage.
Propagated by us from seed from South America
IF IT HAS AN AMBER TRAFFIC LIGHT
Hardy in the Home Counties if sensibly sited (avoiding severe frost pockets, for example). Many Amber Labelled Plants are from cuttings from well-established plants that have survived many harsh winters in the South-East.
This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.
Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.
General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.
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