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Author Topic: Acaenas  (Read 3207 times)

David Lyttle

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« on: February 14, 2008, 08:51:15 PM »
You make me curious David.

Hi Luit,

It has taken a few days to answer your queries about Acaenas so I hope you find this posting will satisfy your curiosity.

First  is a picture of Acaena novae-zelandiae growing wild on my property - It would make a good ground cover if you have a lot of ground to cover otherwise it does not have much merit as a garden plant. It is currently growing up through a metre high netting fence in my garden. Similar species are Acaena pallida, Acaena anserinifolia and Acaena juvenca, the later growing under trees in light shade.

Next Acaena caesiiglauca This has lovely blue-green foliage. Unfortunately it has barbed spines on the seeds. My potted specimen was a bit ratty so here is a picture of a wild plant.

3 is Acaena saccaticupula It is subalpine and has blue-green foliage and spectacular red seed heads.

4 I have labelled Acaena Red spines A very attractive vigorous plant.

5 is a green- foliaged form of Acaena inermis. Acaena inermis has no spines on its seed so is a good garden plant. There are also purple and bronze forms.

6 This is a form I have tag named Acaena Maitland. It has attractive foliage though the colour has changed since I collected it. It is possibly a form of Acaena dumicola.

7 This Acaena microphylla var pauciglochidiata. It is a tiny creeping plant The seed heads are very small and are hidden by the foliage. The leaves have purple margins

8 is Acaena buchananii var picta. This is a form selected originally by Lawrie Metcalf. It has very unusual coloured foliage.

This is ony a fraction of the different forms and species found in the wild. The plants can be propagated easily from cuttings.
David Lyttle
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island ,
New Zealand.


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Re: Acaenas
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2008, 11:28:19 PM »

That is really interesting, David.

Here we are only able to see what other people thought, are useful Acaena for gardens.
I know that most are only useful as carpeters. Here in Europe you see them often in parks or in Germany
often on graveyards.
Now to your pictures:

Acaena novae-zelandiae seems to me a different plant from the cultivated here.
Acaena caesiiglauca is sometimes used here but not so good closed carpet.
Acaena saccaticupula There is grown a form called Blue Haze here which is is not hardy enough in severe winters without snow, but I only know it from one catalogues.
Acaena Red spines looks a bit like A. microphylla Kupferteppich (Copper Carpet) which is one of the best here.
Acaena inermis I believe to be  a good plant. Here seems to exist a purple leaved form.
Acaena inermis. It is a tiny creeping plant this could be the same as here a compact form of
                         Blue Haze called Pipi.
 Acaena buchananii var picta.  A. buchananii is a good carpeter here and this one could be a bettet form.

Thank you for showing these pictures, these plants maybe a weed in your country but here there is a use
for them. So keep your eyes open, you never know.
Luit van Delft, right in the heart of the beautiful flowerbulb district, Noordwijkerhout, Holland.

Sadly Luit died on 14th October 2016 - happily we can still enjoy his posts to the Forum


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