Montanoa bipinnatifida

Montanoa bipinnatifida

Montanoa bipinnatifida is an amazing Central American member of the daisy family (Asteraceae), growing up to 4.5m tall. It forms a shrub with very indented leaves. Around May and June, large sprays of big white daisies appear, making an unusual backdrop for other autumn-bloomers, such as Camellia sasanqua,the tree dahlia (Dahlia imperialis) and some of the taller Salvia out at this time, such as Salvia purpurea, Salvia iodantha and Salvia 'Costa Rican Blue'.

It is rather brittle, so should be grown in a location sheltered from wind. It flowers best in a sunny spot. The long cany branches should be cut back very hard after flowering to keep the plant from becoming straggly. New plants can be propagated from these pieces.

Postscript: I eventually took my plant out as it took up too much space and the flowering season was short. In a large garden with plenty of room, I still think it would be worth growing.

Flowers in June.

 Out now in my Sydney Garden.