6 top picks

Gardening Australia - - PLANTS IN FOCUS -

Sil­ver plec­tran­thus (P. ar­gen­ta­tus)

Na­tive to Aus­tralian trop­i­cal and sub­trop­i­cal rain­forests, with plush, vel­vety leaves and au­tumn spikes of laven­der flow­ers. It is one of the few sil­ver-leafed plants to en­joy damp shade, but copes with dry shade. It sprawls, so cut back in win­ter to keep tidy. Look for com­pact ‘Sil­ver Shield’.

60cm tall 1m

Coleus (P. scutel­lar­i­oides syn. Solenos­te­mon scutel­lar­i­oides)

Ex­ten­sively hy­bridised with plush-leafed cul­ti­vars in gold, red, yel­low, cream, green and white. Plants have broad, oval or nar­row, ta­per­ing leaves, with toothed or wavy edges.

15cm–90cm 15cm–60cm

P. parv­i­florus ‘Blue Spires’

A na­tive, with aro­matic, green and white var­ie­gated fo­liage and per­fumed, blue-lilac flow­ers held above fo­liage from spring to au­tumn. Good in cot­tage gar­dens, pots and bas­kets.

40–50cm 30–40cm

hy­brids P. ‘Mona Laven­der’

A neat, up­right shrub smoth­ered with spec­tac­u­lar spikes of laven­der flow­ers from late sum­mer through au­tumn. Green leaves have pur­ple un­der­sides. All hy­brids make great con­tainer and bas­ket plants. Bred at Kirsten­bosch National Botan­i­cal Gar­den in Cape Town, South Africa.

80cm 60cm

P. ‘Vel­vet Elvis’

Deep green leaves with al­most black un­der­sides form a dra­matic back­drop for plumes of laven­der blooms from late sum­mer through au­tumn.

70cm 70–80cm

P. ‘Cape An­gels’

Avail­able with strik­ing white, pink, pur­ple and ma­genta flow­ers from sum­mer to au­tumn. The flow­ers are held above green fo­liage, which has pur­ple un­der­sides.

60cm–80cm 70cm

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