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Plant Profile: Basket-of-Gold (Aurinia saxatilis)

A native of central and southeastern Europe, basket-of-gold is an evergreen perennial and a member of the cabbage family, Brassicaceae, that also includes broccoli, stock, and candytuft. .   The bright yellow color and fluffy texture of the flower clusters contrasts nicely with the simple gray-blue spatulate leaves. The botanical name refers to the color of the flowers (Aurinia, gold) and the plants association with rocks (saxatilis) and it can often be found sprawling over rocks and walls, forming a low dense round mass. It thrives in dry, average soil and full sun and is fairly drought tolerant once established (a characteristic that led it to be introduced to Alcatraz on 2008.) Unfortunately it languishes in high heat and humidity and tends to be short lived in such climates. It is best treated as an annual in the South. Good in rock gardens, as edging, or as filler in a border.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Bloom: Clusters of tiny canary yellow flowers borne above gray-green foliage in spring.

Size: 6-12” H x 12-18” W.

Light: Full sun; some afternoon shade in South.

Soil: Average, dry, well drained.

Hardiness: Zones 3-7.

Care: Cut back by half after blooming to maintain attractive form.

Pests and Diseases: Aphids.

Propagation: Seeds (reseeds readily); fall division; spring or fall cuttings.

Companion plants: Arabis, aubreita,

Outstanding Selections: ‘Compacta’ (globose compact and 8” high).

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