Olearia macrodonta (New Zealand Mountain Holly or Daisy Bush)

Handsome ever-grey toothed foliage and in high summer, clusters of white daisy flowers on a shrub/ small tree to 3metres in height. Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.

Hardiness traffic light amber

Hardiness level Amber

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High summer is a moment of clamour in most gardens with most things screaming for your attention. From the sub-alpine regions of New Zealand (where folk are generally quite calm and serene) the Daisy Bush produces an incredible embroidery of tiny blooms which are gorgeous but not bellowing. The entire plant will appear snowed-on, plastered in tiny daisy-like blooms.

Very good-looking evergreen small tree from New Zealand. Ever grey, we should say, as it’s one of those silvered greens which look like a doves breast. ‘Sage’ perhaps. The undersides of the toothsome leaves are a bright felted white and they’re less aggressive than their holly-like serrations would suggest, making them rather pleasing to fondle for the marked contrast of smooth upper and then fuzzy lower sides. What my grandad would call a ‘Finger and thumb’ leaf.

Forming a close-knit puff of slender stems and branches the Daisy Bush is a fine candidate for clipping and shaping into all manner of clouds and blobs and plump loaves. (do this after flowering, obviously) Or you could let it do its own thing and rely on it to be quite disciplined, for in general it can be trusted to manage its own symmetry.

Listed consistently as ‘fully hardy’ we would agree but suggest that for the finest results you plonk it in full sun, somewhere out of the very coldest winds. Having said that, it hedges very well and is often recommended as a wind-break plant. Given its mountainous Antipodean habitat we’d say hedge (sorry) your bets and try a few in various spots. Perfectly happy on any well-drained soil, even shallow chalk.

Smashing plant and very deserving of the RHS Award for Garden Merit which it boasts but does not bellow about.

N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well-watered when first planted.


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