Astelia chathamica ‘Silver Shadow’
Kakaha, Maori Flax, Silver Shadow
Astelia chathamica ‘Silver Shadow’ is the sister of the A.chatamica ‘Silver Spear’.
This cultivar is a lower growing one, with a tufted look, denser than the ‘Silver Spear’, but featuring the same striking silvery blade like leaves.
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With a striking display of silvery swords, the Astelia chathamica is one of the most recognizable members of the newly discovered Astelia family which comprises of around 25 species, originating in Chatham Island of New Zealand.
The ‘Silver Shadow’ variety is a hybrid between Astelia chathamica and Astelia nervosa, and it was introduced into cultivation recently. It features a denser look than Astelia ‘Silver Spear’.
Kakaha pairs pairs or contrasts well with a wide variety of plants, but also works perfectly as a specimen in a container: black, galvanised, or terracotta all work very well.
Care & Size Guidance
Greenish yellow flowers in spring, turning to orange fruits in autumn, add to the attraction. They will grow in any soil but perform best in well draining soil and so long if they are never short of moisture.
The plant is cold hardy down to -3 degrees and evergreen, however it will require some protection from frost in winter with a horticultural fleece. If it collapses in an extremely cold winter, cut the foliage back in March and it will grow once again.
The Silver Shadow Flax is ideal for coastal gardens as the stiff leaves are fairly tolerant to windy conditions.