With most plants, gardeners eagerly await the opening of the buds into their final, full-flowered form. Not so in the case of ‘Ruby Cluster’, whose buds are as attractive and interesting as the flowers they will become – perhaps even more so. Showy 2-inch (5 cm) clusters of ball-shaped, red buds are cradled in soft, silvery foliage. They open to starry white flowers with prominent yellow centers and the genus’ distinctive stiff, papery texture, gradually fading to a soft oatmeal hue. Foliage is attractive all summer, especially if given a light shearing after flowering. Blooms May through June in the US; March through May in the UK.
Though not hardy in much of North America, it is evergreen in areas mild enough to enjoy it for more than one season. Elsewhere, this is a marvelous annual and a choice container candidate, forming a tidy, uniform mound of silvery leaves. Comes to Must Have Perennials from English gardener Chris Bowyer.
Helichrysum (Strawflower) Ruby Cluster
Front border, Container, Dried flower, Drought tolerant, Rock garden
Approx. Winter Hardiness
USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10
RHS Hardiness Rating -12C/10F