Anaphalis triplinervis

This herbaceous perennial from the Himalayas is something of a freak in that it is almost the only silver plant which enjoys shade. The hairy felting of silver plants protects them from the drying effects of the sun, and Anaphalis triplinervis has felted stalks and leaves which are woolly on the underside, yet sun or shade suits it equally well, so long as the soil is well-drained, without being arid. It the vegetables, and groups of alchemilla, among bushes of the redand-white striped gallica rose, ‘Rosa Mundi’, make a loose edging to a flagged path. Another attractive scheme is alchemilla with madonna lilies in front of the purple-leaved shrub, Cotinus coggygria.

Alchemilla is ideal for picking and arranging with roses, campanulas, irises, or any other summer flowers.

Is easily pleased and quite hardy.

This Anaphalis is not a dramatic plant, but makes a charming edging to a shady border. The clumps of silver-white foliage are perpetual but, being so light in colour, need the intensity of dark evergreen leaves nearby. Planted in companionship with bergenias, the two will give you a chiaroscuro picture all through the winter. The flowers grow in small, tight bunches, white with yellow centres, and are papery in texture like immortelles. They bloom in late summer, and if cut for the house will last all through the winter. Again, put them with dark, evergreen leaves, like those of Elaeagnus X ebbingei.

Plant the roots 12 inches (30 cm) apart and wait patiently, for Anaphalis is a slow grower.

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