Acaena New Zealand burr

Height: 2.5-15cm (1-6in)

Planting distance: 45-75cm (1 -2 ft)

Features: burrs in summer

Soil: ordinary, well-drained

Site: sun or partial shade

Type: herbaceous

Acaena has a dense mar of tiny leaves, tinted blue-green, grey, copper or bronze, which provides useful ground cover from spring to late autumn. In late summer it bears crimson, reddish, amber or purple burrs.

Popular species and varieties:

Acaena aascendens has reddish burrs and toothed leaves forming a dense blue-grey carpet 75cm (2.5 ft) wide. Acaena ‘Blue Haze’ (syn. ‘Pewter’) has dark red burrs and blue-green leaves with red stems forming a loose mar of foliage about 60cm (2ft) wide. Acaena huchananii, with grey-green leaves and amber-brown burrs, spreads to 60cm (2ft). Acaena tnicrophyUay with its red burrs, is especially suitable for rockeries. It is 2.5-5cm (1-2in) high and 45-60cm (1-2ft) across. A good variety is ‘Copper Carpet’, 5cm (2in) high and 60cm (2ft) across,

Acaena ‘Blue Haze’ with copper-tinted leaves and reddish burrs.


Plant from early autumn to early spring in any well-drained garden soil. Acaenalikes full sun, but tolerates partial shade.

Propagation: Sow seeds in a frame between early autumn and early spring. Pot up and grow on outdoors; plant out in mid spring. Divide and replant during the same period.

Pests and diseases: Trouble free.

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