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Pacific chrysanthemum Ajania pacifica

Previously known as:

  • Chrysanthemum pacificum
  • Dendranthema pacificum
Phonetic Spelling
ah-JAHN-ee-ah pa-SIF-ik-ah
Description

Ajania pacifica, or Silver and Gold Chrysanthemum, is a shrubby herbaceous flowering perennial in the aster family. It is native to the island of Honshu, the main island of Japan, where it grows along the coast. It is also found in central and eastern Asia. The genus name (Ajania) refers to the Russian port city of Ayan, while the species name (pacifica) refers to the Pacific coastal cliffs of Japan where the plant originated. It is commonly called Silver and Gold Chrysanthemum (also Gold and Silver Chrysanthemum) due to its silver leaf margins and gold flowers.

Silver and Gold Chrysanthemum thrives in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. Some afternoon shade is beneficial in hot summer climates. Plants may appreciate winter protection in USDA Zone 5. It grows well in all types of soil as long as there is good drainage; it does poorly in soggy ground. It is not particular about pH, as it thrives in all types of soil acidity. This plant reaches its full height in 2 to 3 years. It spreads over time by underground rhizomes; in several years it can span 3 feet wide. Pinch back tall stems in June or July to maintain a dense, bushy growth and do not over-water. Propagation is easy with stem cuttings or by dividing the root ball in the spring. This plant is noted for its low, mounding habit and striking variegated foliage. Also of note are its small, button-like yellow flowers in late fall, when other plants have stopped producing flowers. It is considered deciduous, but in some areas it remains semi-evergreen. This plant is superb as a ground cover or a foliage plant in a border.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No known disease or insect problems. Wet soils in winter can be fatal.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Pink Ice'
    Short, light pink petals and yellow centers in branched corymbs (to 4” wide).
'Pink Ice'
Tags:
#gold#deciduous#full sun tolerant#fall flowers#perennials#yellow flowers#salt tolerant#fall interest#fast growing#silver#scalloped#groundcover#multicolored#early fall flowers#partial shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Pink Ice'
    Short, light pink petals and yellow centers in branched corymbs (to 4” wide).
'Pink Ice'
Tags:
#gold#deciduous#full sun tolerant#fall flowers#perennials#yellow flowers#salt tolerant#fall interest#fast growing#silver#scalloped#groundcover#multicolored#early fall flowers#partial shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ajania
    Species:
    pacifica
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    ground cover
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Coastal regions on the island of Honshu, Japan.
    Distribution:
    worldwide
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts bees and butterflies.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Salt tolerant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Dense
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Flower Shape:
    Dome
    Radial
    Star
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Button-like 1/2 to 1 inch yellow flowers in late fall. Not as showy as other chrysanthemums, but provides color in the garden at a time when most flowering plants are no longer blooming. The composite head is composed of many tiny tubular flowers that appear together as a small button. These small blooms form a dense cluster that is 3 to 4 inches across. Cut flowers are long-lasting.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Velvety
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Scallop-edged, blue green 1 1/2 to 2 inch leaves variegated with sharp, silver margins. Undersides are covered with a silvery down. The plant is a good choice for use as a ground cover.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Rock Wall
    Landscape Theme:
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat
    Humidity
    Salt