There are some plants that you grow for their leaves, others for the flowers. In this case it is both of them plus a little bit of rarity and mystery. The mystery and rarity being that nobody seems to quite know what it is. Apart from this plant, that was obtained from Joy Creek, nobody else seems to grow it, or even have pictures of it.
The now closed down Joy Creek Nursery, had this to say about the plants identity: “For several years we have been confused about this chrysanthemum. From its appearance, we assumed it was a plant that we grew many years ago called Ajania pacifica. But when it bloomed, it does not have the standard clusters of rounded golden flowers we have come to expect from that plant. Instead it has rayed flowers that are white circling the golden centers. We finally consulted Makino’s New Illustrated Flora of Japan and found what is called in Japanese “Hana-isogiku” which translates to Chrysanthemum pacificum f. radiatum. It is part of a complex of chrysanthemum that grow on rocks and crags near the Pacific Ocean.”
I have no idea what the f. stands for and several sources replace it with var.
To add to the confusion, the University of Arkansas has this to say: “This species had a tortuous time in settling on a good name. Even the common name, silver and gold chrysanthemum, is confusing unless you know the plant well. This species was first identified in 1928 in Japan and given the name Chrysanthemum pacificum. In 1955 the genus Ajania was established by a Russian botanist, who Latinized an Eastern Siberian town and rural administrative region called Ayan, for a plant he found in the area. Then, in 1978 an attempt to clean up the notoriously confused daisy family was made, and Silver and Gold Chrysanthemum was transferred to the genus Dendranthemum. That revision didn’t suite a lot of botanists, so the plant was transferred to Ajania in 1993, but in the process redefined the widely recognized genus Chrysanthemum, splitting it into half a dozen different genera. That redefinition suited no one, so most horticultural types ignored the revisions and stayed with the familiar name Chrysanthemum.”
The leaves on this plant are quite stunning. They are silver margined and almost olive green in color. They are quite deeply lobed and have a substance to them, but not quite succulent. The undersides of the leaves have fine hairs. They are a semi-woody plant in areas when the cold does not cause them to die back to the rhizome, which slowly spreads. In late autumn, it flowers provide the added surprise. Gold buttons in the middle are surrounded by white petals that are tinged with purple.
Pronunciation: ah-JAHN-ee-ah pa-SIF-ik-ah
Species Meaning: Of the Pacific
Ajania pacificum f. radiatum is native to Japan.
The plants are somewhat drought-tolerant, can handle sandy soils, and are salt tolerant.
Propagation from stem cuttings or by dividing the root ball in the spring.
Synonyms: Chrysanthemum pacificum, Dendranthema pacificum, Tanacetum pacificum
In Our Garden
Plant ID: P21184
Found in Pots,
Waiting to find its forever home in the garden.
We acquired this plant from Joy Creek.