Tufted Herbs: Patersonia sericea

I need to admit I am not very competent when it comes to recognising and utilising Australian tufted perennial herby plants in a garden. For some reason I get the Theliomenas confused with the Thysanotus and the Sowerbaea and with Arthropodium! All are beautiful and all are grass like with wonderful prominent flowers poking their heads up … I would like to use them more.

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I have decided to research and document as many of these species as I can and hopefully in the future I will retain their valuable information and use them more often in my gardens.

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This beautiful tufty thing is Patersonia sericea or Silky Purple Flag, and is endemic to Eastern Australia. Did you know each flower only opens for a single day ? so the clump has new buds coming up constantly, which are in themselves quite striking as you can see in the image below.

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Patersonia sericea will grow happily in a well drained soil in part shade or full sun, and the flowers will close in very hot or dry weather. A reliable source of moisture is a must for this tufty. The flowers can be deep purple like this one, pink or even white and the grass head is a lovely grey green and gets to about 60cm x 60cm, which is a very useful size for a feature grass.

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