Tall Plants With Yellow Button Flowers & Gray Leaves

Written by angela ryczkowski
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The most popular and obvious group of plants that fits the description of a relatively tall plant with yellow button flowers and grey leaves is the Santolina genus of plants. Santolina plants are often used in low hedges or grouped in colour arrangements. There are two common Santolina species that grow as small evergreen shrubs in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 7 to 10.

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Lavender Cotton

Lavender cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus), not to be confused or grouped with true lavenders of the Lavandula genus, is a small, shrubby evergreen perennial reaching up to 2 feet when grown in the proper climate. Lavender cotton is a popular species for edging, as it can be sheared into a compact hedge. Also called grey Santolina, this plant is greenish in spring but becomes silvery later in the year. The aromatic leaves can be used in potpourri. You can also use the fragrant plants in closets, to repel the moths attracted to linen and wool textiles.

Rosemary-Leaved Lavender Cotton

The Santolina pinnata subspecies Neapolitana, or rosemary-leaved lavender cotton, is similar to S. chamaecyparissus, but individual leaves on Neapolitana are longer and have a more feathery appearance. The plant also appears more grey than silver. It grows up to 18-inches in height and has a spread of over 3 feet when mature. The Sulphura cultivar of Neapolitana has pale-yellow flowers.

Santolina Maintenance

Santolina plants perform best in hot, sunny and dry locations. Santolina requires extensive pruning each spring or the plant will quickly become woody and unshapely. Gardeners commonly discourage the bright-yellow flowers, particularly when they use the plant for edging and desire a tidy look.

Similar Plants

Chrysocephalum apiculatum has yellow button flowers and grey foliage but grows with a fairly compact, trailing habit. Ajiana pacifica, commonly referred to as ajiana, grows 1 to 2 feet with a mounding habit, features small, yellow, button-like blooms and silver foliage. It is a rhizomatous perennial in USDA zones 5 to 9 and can tolerate poor soils as long as there is adequate drainage. Tansy is another tall-growing plant with yellow button flowers, but the foliage is not typically grey.

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