Selago tarachodes Hilliard
Common names: trouble selago
Selago tarachodes is a neat, compact, herbaceous perennial, with shiny green leaves and masses of showy, white, flower-heads, that flowers throughout the year and is the best eye-catcher in any garden.
Selago tarachodes is a perennial herb with a woody rootstock. It grows between 0.2–1.2 m high. Stem is reclining to erect, with clustered leaves, 7–35 × 1–7 mm, with thickened margins.
Flowers are showy, white, in compact, terminal, many-flowered inflorescences, 40–90 mm in diameter. It flowers throughout the year but mainly in spring and summer. The flowers are faintly scented.
According to the website http://redlist.sanbi.org, checked on 23 October 2015, the conservation status of this plant is Least Concern (LC).
Distribution and habitat
Selago tarachodes is endemic to South Africa. It occurs in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, in grassland and at the coast at an altitude of 0–600 m.
Derivation of name and historical aspects
The name Selago is derived from sel, which means ‘sight’ and the Celtic word jach, which means ‘salutory’, referring to the supposed medicinal properties of the genus. The name tarach, means ‘trouble’ or ‘disorder’, and refers to the confusion over the identity of this species, which was previously incorrectly identified as Selago hyssopifolia or S. woodii.
The flowers are scented and attract butterflies, wasps and flies.
Growing Selago tarachodes
This hardy garden perennial can be grown from either seeds or cuttings and can be used in the garden mostly for its beautiful, white, compound flowers and its shiny green leaves.
Plant in groups in the mixed border or as an edging or bedding plant. Remove dead flowerheads to encourage more flowering. Feed with compost and/or moderate amounts of fertilizer and water moderately all year for a showy garden plant. Also suitable for coastal gardens.
- Pooley, E. 1998. A field guide to wild flowers Kwazulu-Natal and the eastern region. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.
- http://www.ispotnature.org/node/525194 observation by Peter R. Warren accessed 23 October 2015
Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden
9 November 2015
Plant Type: Perennial
SA Distribution: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal
Soil type: Sandy
Flowering season: Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer
Flower colour: White
Aspect: Full Sun
Gardening skill: Easy