Monday, May 2, 2016

Class of 2016 -- Packera aurea, Senecio aureus, golden groundsel

Packera aurea, golden groundsel

Why I'm growing Packera aurea in my garden...

1) It is native to Tennessee and throughout much of the Eastern and Central U.S.

2) Mt. Cuba Center recommends it as an effective, evergreen groundcover for shady spots. I'm always on the lookout for good groundcovers, especially natives.

3) The Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society notes that golden groundsel is a host plant for the gem moth (Orthonama obstipata).

4) Scott Woodbury, Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Missouri Botanical Garden recommends this species, promoting it as an alternative to invasive exotic groundcovers including ivy, periwinkle and wintercreeper. He says the showy spring flowers attract tons of pollinators. Woodbury notes that Packera aurea rarely self-sows, but he says it does spread vigorously by underground rhizomes and can form a solid groundcover in a couple of years if planted on 12 to 18-inch centers.

5) Audobon at Home calls it resistant to deer browsing. (Perhaps it gets this resistance due to the presence of pyrrolizidne alkaloids that can cause liver damage in people if taken internally.)

Do you grow golden groundsel? If so, what has been your experience with this plant?


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