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Ajania pacifica (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Ajania pacifica (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Zones 3-24
Full Sun
Regular Water

Ajania pacifica (Chrysanthemum pacificum)

Gold and Silver Chrysanthemum
Asteraceae (Compositae)

This species from central and eastern Asia has been known by various botanical names over the years, including the two shown above. The plant is prized for its handsome foliage, bright fall flowers, and overall toughness. But it’s prohibited in some areas as a host to white rust of chrysanthemum.

Forms a semi-trailing, woody-based mound to 1 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide. Stems are densely clad in lobed, dark green leaves that look rimmed with white, actually the woolly white leaf undersides showing at edges. Broad clusters of small yellow flowers resembling brass buttons appear in autumn. Use as bank planting or groundcover or at the front of a perennial border. Lower leaves will die off without regular summer water. To maintain compactness, cut back after bloom in mild-winter regions; in colder climates, cut back partway after plants put on strong new growth in spring. ‘Pink Ice’ has pale pink flowers.

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