Silver Bush (Calocephalus) is a small round shrub with eye-catching, hairy twigs that have a pretty silvery appearance. From a distance it looks just like barbed wire, but beautiful and without the painful barbs! The plant flowers yellow in August and September but the main attraction is undoubtedly its silver-grey foliage, which combines beautifully with blue and white autumn violas, checkerberry, pink Cyclamen, prickly heath and Skimmia. Silver Bush also works very well in autumn hanging baskets.
Eye-catcher from the bush
Silver Bush is native to the rocks and dunes of Australia’s southern coast. In the wild the shrub can reach a height of around one metre – the cultivated variety stays smaller. The plant is a member of the Asteraceae family and is very easy to live with: it can cope with a bit of drought, survives sea breezes and thrives in rockeries. It’s also a plant that tickles the curiosity, not only because of its attractive silver-grey colour, but because of its ability to constantly surprise you with new dimentions in its tangled structure.
Silver Bush trivia
Silver Bush’s suffix is 'brownii', which refers to the botanist Robert Brown who discovered the plant in 1817.
In Australia Silver Bush is also called cushion bush, because the twigs used to be used as filling for mattresses and cushions.