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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 also known as yellow alyssum, madwort, goldentuft, and gold-dust.  It is a member of the cabbage family, Brassicaceae, that also includes broccoli, stock, and candytuft.  Growing  6-12″ tall, it has simple grey-blue spatulate leaves up to 5″ long and corymboe panicles of  small  bright yellow flowers in spring that contrasts nicely with the foliage.  Basket of Gold is fairly drought resistant when established but unfortunately 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  and wall gardens, as edging, or as filler in a border. The genus name, Aurinia, comes from the Latin word aureus meaning golden and refers to the color of the flowers.  The specific epithet, saxatilis, is the Latin word meaning found amoung rocks and refers to the naural habitat of the plant.

Type: Evergreen 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, moderately moist to 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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