I discovered this plant through Christopher Lloyd, who writes about it in his book, “Succession Planting for Adventurous Gardeners” – something of a bible of mine. Anyway, as so often with new (to me, anyway) plants Lloyd suggests, it’s quickly become a firm favourite of mine.
It’s what they call a good do-er – rarely needs any particular TLC, tough as anything, evergreen – or should that be evergold in this case? – and just does its stuff all year round. It’s an excellent plant for structure – I’ve got it planted between a Spiraea japonica “Gold Mound” and a Pinus mugo, where it retreats into the background a bit in summer and then at this time of the year (and indeed for most of the winter) really shines out. It has a lovely, warm burnished bronzey-gold colour that glows in low sunshine and makes those sword-like leaves shoot up, shining, from the surrounding plants.
Mine is still a young plant, but I’m hoping if it’s happy it’ll form a nice beefy clump in time. It almost seems like an afterthought, but it does also have pretty iris-like white flowers later in spring, too.