Astelia chathamica ‘Silver Spear’

Kakaha, Maori Flax, Silver Spear

Astelia chathamica ‘Silver Spear’ truly is an exceptional, unique plant.

This cultivar’s upright, evergreen, sword-like sparkling-silver leaves provide a contrast in form and colour that is not found in any other plant.

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Origin: New Zealand
Genus: Astelia
Species / Cultivar: chatamica 'Silver Spear'
Common Name: Kakaha, Maori Flax, Silver Spear

Plant Biography

With a striking display of silvery swords, the Astelia chathamica ‘Silver spear’ 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 spear’ variety is a hybrid between Astelia chathamica and Astelia nervosa, and it was introduced into cultivation no more than 10 years ago.

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.

Astelia chathamica ‘Silver Spear’
Soil: Well drained
Soil that does not show much signs of moisture, either visibly or when handled.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun to Part Shade
Enjoys direct sun most of the day, but tolerant of fewer sunlit hours or light dappling.
Eventual Height: 1.2m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 1.2m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Half Hardy
Will need protection from frosts in order to survive winter, eg. with fleece jacket.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.
Lifecycle: Perennial
This plant is persistant and does not die off after flowering. It will return each season indefinitely, if provided with suitable growing conditions.

Expert Tip

For a chic, modern planting scheme contrast this structural plant with Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' in a lightly shaded position. It also pairs especially well when paired with other mixed herbaceous.
Care & Size Guidance

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 spear flax is ideal for coastal gardens as the stiff leaves are fairly tolerant to windy conditions.


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