Plant Guide

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Categories starting with H

Herbaceous (50)

Herbaceous

Perennial (47), Annual (2)

Hedge (47)

Hedge

Items starting with H

hardenbergia-violacea

Hardenbergia violacea

false sarsaparilla, purple coral pea, happy wanderer, native lilac, vine lilac, lilac vine

Vigorous evergreen climber with wiry stems, native to Australia. Occurs naturally in a variety of habitats, including coastal areas and mountains. Simple, oval to lance-shaped, mid to dark green, leathery leaves to 12 cm long, with prominent veins. Violet purple pea-like flowers, 1 cm across, smother the pant in pendent racemes during mid to late winter and early spring.

Synonym: Hardenbergia monophylla

Hardy to -70C, but some damage may occur at lighter frosts. Flowers best in full sun and well-draining neutral or acidic soil, but tolerates a wide range of growing conditions. Has a low water requirement once established. Prune hard after flowering to keep compact, encourage new growth, and to prevent the plant from becoming leggy at the base.

Ideal climber for flower display from mid winter. May also be grown as a ground cover, spilling over banks. Suitable as an indoor plant in bright light.

hebe-pretty-in-pink

Hebe 'Pretty in Pink"

Small, bun-shaped, evergreen shrub in the Hollywood series of hebes. Its main asset is green foliage, flushed with burgundy purple, the colour intensifying during the colder months. Spikes to about 5 cm long, with tiny pink flowers, fading to white with age.

Prefers a sunny or partially shaded position in well-draining soil. Tolerates dry conditions once established. Lightly prune to maintain compactness, but avoid pruning beyond the foliage. Tolerates at least moderate frosts, and is hardy throughout New Zealand.

Looks beautiful in combination with Loropetalum chinense 'Burgundy', in particular when you add some lime green foliage to the mix. Happy in containers. Suitable for borders in front of taller growing plants. 

helichrysum-italicum

Helichrysum italicum

curry plant, immortelle, everlasting

Small evergreen shrub in the daisy family (Asteraceae), native to Southern Europe. Linear, silvery, curry-scented leaves. Clusters of yellow flower heads during summer. Essential oil extracted from Helichrysum italicum is used for medicinal purposes. 

Synonym: Helichrysum angustifolium.

Prefers a sunny position in light, well-draining soil, but can cope with semi-shade and somewhat heavier soils. Not tolerant of full shade. Suitable for poor soils. Drought-tolerant once established. Prune once or twice a year to keep compact. Tolerates moderate frosts to about -10oC.

The curry scent is very intense, so plant it where you can enjoy the aroma without it overpowering other fragrances in your garden. Helichrysum italicum forms a delicate colour and textural combination with purple sage (see photo gallery). I have used the leaves in cooking, but they did not actually seem to add anything in terms of taste. The flowers retain their colour well after cutting and drying.

helichrysum-petiolare-limelight

Helichrysum petiolare 'Limelight'

limelight licorice plant

Evergreen, trailing shrub in the daisy family. Behaves as a climber when given support. Woolly, lime-green, rounded to ovate leaves with entire margins, 3.5 x 3.5 cm, emitting a mild licorice scent when crushed. Rarely flowers with insignificant creamy white flowers in late summer. The South African species Helichrysum petiolare is more vigorous and has become an invasive weed in several areas of the world, including New Zealand. The cultivar 'Limelight' won the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1992.

Synonym: Helichrysum petiolare 'Aureum'.

Prefers partially shaded position in any well-drained soil. Will also grow in full sun or shade. Drought-tolerant once established. Usually pest-free, but may be affected by powdery mildew. OK for coastal gardens. Prune at any time of the year to keep tidy and compact. Tolerates light to moderate frosts of about -7 to -1 degrees Celsius (USDA zones 9-11).

Looks great when combined with dark green, bronze, or burgundy foliage. Also suitable for large containers.

helleborus-argutifolius

Helleborus argutifolius

Corsican hellebore, holly-leaved hellebore, Corsican rose

Evergreen, clump-forming perennial native to Corsica and Sardinia. Large, leathery leaves with three toothed leaflets 10-20 cm long and 4-5 cm across. Unlike Helleborus orientalis, Helleborus argutifolius has no basal foliage; the leaves are carried on stout, upright stems. Clusters of bowl-shaped pale green flowers to 5 cm wide, during late winter and early spring. Closely related to Helleborus lividus with which it hybridises freely. Size varies with growing conditions and may also reflect genetic variation.

Synonyms: Helleborus corsicus, Helleborus lividus subsp. corsicus 

Less frost-hardy than Helleborus orientalis, but tolerates medium frosts. Adaptable to most well-draining soils except heavy clay. Shade tolerant, but flowers best in a sunny position. Shady conditions promote the growth of long, weak stems. Self-seeds easily. Thinning of the seedlings is advisable so that they don't smother the original plant.

helleborus-anna's-red

Helleborus orientalis

Lenten rose, Winter rose, Lenten hellebore, Oriental hellebore

Clump-forming, evergreen, relatively slow growing perennial with palmately compound leaves and nodding flowers during winter. Native to Greece, Turkey and around the Black Sea. Leathery dark green leaves with 7 to 9 coarsely toothed leaflets, 15-25 cm long. Flowers (5-8 cm across) resemble single rose flowers, and are held above the foliage in loose clusters. Colours range from pure white to pink or dark red, often spotted. All parts are poisonous. Sap may cause skin irritation. In cold climates, Helleborus orientalis is semi-evergreen.

Most hellebores sold as Helleborus orientalis belong to a large group of hybrids, now collectively known as Helleborus x hybridus. Many of the latter have their own name. For example, the stunning deep red flowers in the close-up photograph belong to the hybrid Helleborus 'Anna's Red'.

Prefers partial or full shade and moist, well-drained neutral or slightly alkaline soil. Tolerates drier conditions once established. Dislikes being disturbed, so may take a while to recover after transplanting. Naturalises in suitable climates. Plants are propagated from seed or by dividing large plants in late summer. Old, unsightly leaves can be removed in autumn before the flowers and new leaves appear.

Great ground covering plant for shady gardens. Since the flowers are quite subtle and delicate both in colour and size, they are best used en masse in smaller areas. The leaves contrast beautifully with hostas or ferns. Suitable as cut flowers, but flowers last longer when you allow them to float in a shallow bowl of water.

hymenosporum-flavum

Hymenosporum flavum

Australian frangipani, native frangipani (Australia), sweet shade

Slender, evergreen tree, native to the rainforests of Australia (Queensland and New South Wales) and New Guinea. Belongs to the Pittosporaceae, the same family as Pittosporum. Fast growing once established. Relatively open and narrow canopy with a distinct horizontal branch pattern. Oblong to lanceolate, glossy green leaves with hairy undersides, 10 cm long by 4 cm wide. Very fragrant, 3-5 cm wide flowers, produced in clusters during spring or early summer. They are creamy white initially and turn yellow with age, sometimes with a reddish center, eventually followed by long pear-shaped seed capsules. Flowers resemble those of Plumeria, the frangipani tree, in size, shape and fragrance, hence the common name. Attracts birds and bees.

Prefers a sheltered position in any well-draining, alkaline to neutral soil. Flowers best in full sun, but can be grown in partial shade. Tolerates considerable drought and moderate frosts once established. Protect young plants from frosts. Suitable for coastal gardens, but since the branches are quite brittle, the tree needs protection from strong winds. 

Beautiful tree, smothered in sweetly scented flowers in spring or early summer. Thanks to its narrow growth habit, Hymenosporum flavum is suitable for smaller gardens. With a relatively sparsely branched canopy, it forms an attractive silhouette against a tall wall. Pruning encourages the development of a more compact crown.