Astelia nervosa

16 Oct

Astelia nervosa (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Astelia nervosa (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 80cm

Eventual Spread: 80cm

Hardiness: 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Asteliaceae

Astelia nervosa is is an evergreen, clump forming herbaceous perennial with a tufted, arching habit. Its leathery mid green to silvery grey leaves are linear to lanceolate with a simple margin, up to 1.5m long. Its dioecious flowers are light brown to red. Its fruit mature to a bright orange or red.

Astelia nervosa Fruit (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Astelia nervosa Fruit (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Astelia nervosa, commonly known as Mountain Astelia, Bush flax or Kakaha, is native to New Zealand. In its native habitat it grows in grassland and forests. Astelia nervosa is synonymous with Astelia montana.

The etymological root of the binomial name Astelia is derived from the Greek a meaning ‘without’ and stele meaning ‘shaft’ or ‘trunk’. Nervosa is from the Latin meaning ‘with conspicuous veins’, ‘vigorous’ or ‘sinewy’

The landscape architect may find Astelia nervosa useful as part of a woodland planting scheme or as part of a mixed herbaceous border.

Astelia nervosa Leaf (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Astelia nervosa Leaf (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Astelia nervosa is of little value in the UK.

Astelia nervosa prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will not tolerate dry soils.

Astelia nervosa requires little maintenance.

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