low; moderate; high
shade; semi-shade; sun
white September to March; spring summer autumn
sun; shade; semi-shade; container; green walls; clay soils; gravel garden; dry shade; paving; wildlife bees; narrow spaces;
woodland forest; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn; urban streets
subtropical east coast; thicket
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The Weeping Anthericum is a graceful grass-like plant with masses of starry white flowers nodding gracefully on slender stalks above arching green leaves. The flowers are very recognizable as belonging to the Hen and Chicken family although without the little chickens this genus is so famous for. It is native to the Eastern Cape, occurring naturally on forest floors and in grasslands. Very easily grown, coping with both sun and shade, dry and damp conditions, and is also frost hardy, this versatility has made it very popular as both a garden plant and for mass landscaping. The plant grows about 40cm high, with a spread of25 cm and is a very well behaved plant, needing little in the way of maintenance. Flowering almost all year-round, with its peak from September to March, the Weeping Anthericum grows quickly to cover an area. It tends to look untidy at the end of winter, a bit dry and scraggly, so cut it back, and it soon sprouts fresh green leaves. It seeds itself very easily, and the bright green leaves of newly seeded plants will often be found around the garden – seeded by wind and birds! They are not a problem to control – simply lift and replant where you want them, or bag them and give to friends! It grows very easily from seed and plants will flower within a year of seed being sown. Weeping Anthericum looks good anywhere, whatever the style of garden you have, from a South African grassland to an English country style garden - designed with South African plants, of course! Plant it in a grassland setting mixed with grassland wildflowers like Dierama and Hypoxis spp., as a groundcover in a forest area, with Crassula multicava and Clivia sp. It looks particularly attractive beneath Indigofera jucunda and alongside a water feature where the weeping habit is especially suitable. It combines well in a mixed bed with other grass-like plants such as Dietes bicolor, or adds texture to spiky Aloes and spreading ground covers (Gazania spp., Dimorphotheca spp.). Use it to provide wonderful softness to containers of mixed plantings, or to blur the edges of hard paving and along a pathway. Try massing it behind a group of Bulbine natalensis or in front of Plectranthus zuluensis. In a mixed bed or container combine it with the orange-red Pelargonium tongaense, Dimorphotheca, and Gazanias, etc. In light shade on the edge of your forest or woodland, mixed with the other star of a March garden, Crocosmia aurea.