I got this plant via a hitchhiker in some plants donated to the Georgia Native Plant Society by a great plantsman. Warning! There is your first clue that this is a prolific seeder. This plant was growing in his nursery area in the thin and boggy layers of soil that had formed on black landscape cloth.
|Look at all those flowers!|
While I was babysitting these plants for the Society, one of them flowered and set seed. A seed ended up sprouting in the sunny bed near the driveway. I think it sprouted last year, so this chance seedling is only two years old. This waist-high plant has flowered heavily for over a month now. Here are some of it's wonderful qualities:
- It has not needed any supplemental watering.
- It is growing in full sun in thin, clay soil.
- The deer have not touched it (and they have eaten things right next to it).
- It has foliage that is bright, shiny, and evergreen.
- It is blooming in some of the hottest days of summer.
- The pollinators are thrilled with it.
- Songbirds will eat the seeds when they ripen.
- Beautiful exfoliating bark: as the plant gets older, the bark will be a deep and shiny brown that curls and peels away.
|Bees love it!|
Is it the perfect plant? Well, no. It does seed around - but those are easily pulled up or potted up for friends or to donate to your local plant sale. If you don't want a tall plant (eventually), you might seek out the compact cultivar 'Creel's Gold'.
|Look at that gorgeous foliage (click on the picture to make it larger)|
|How about this cinnamon-colored peeling bark?|
Next time you need a full sun plant in a tough spot, think about bushy St. John's wort. I think you'll like it.