Great Purple Hairstreak is seen feeding on the
Golden Lace patrinia that blooms all summer.
years ago, I wrote about a Golden Lace patrinia a new
plant to most gardeners and one that is thrilling beyond
compare for anyone who loves pollinators. Now after four
more years of experience, I can say it is a must-have
plant, it is truly like having ‘wild kingdom’ packed
in a four-foot-tall yellow blooming perennial.
speaking it is known as Patrinia scabiosifolia and is
native to Korea, but you would swear it is a local. It
is cold hardy from zones 5-9 meaning a broad swath of
the country can enjoy it as a terrific perennial. Colder
zones will find it best to grow as an annual.
looking back at my photos over the last four years I see
it blooming in June, July, August and a little in
September which is longer than most perennials. Four
years ago I was touting it with Little Red Joe Pye weed
which is also wonderful for pollinators but doesn’t
have near as long of a blooming season.
we saw how well it performed at the Coastal Georgia
Botanical Gardens, we increased the plantings in our
Cottage Garden partnering it with old-fashioned summer
phlox, Phlox paniculata, and the brown-eyed Susan,
Rudbeckia triloba. Both of those have a long season of
performance and do their part in bringing in bees and
Lace is so stunning in its thousands of tiny yellow
blossoms and golden calyces that would make a dazzling
complementary partner with Mystic Spires blue salvia as
well as the hummingbird champion Amistad salvia with
royal purple flowers and black calyces. Anise hyssops
like Blue Fortune and Black Adder are also stunning
partners that bloom even longer.
was amazing to see visitors stop and take pictures of
the plants. It was not necessarily because of the beauty
which it possesses but the sheer number of bees, wasps,
flies and the exotic-looking hairstreak butterflies.
many gardeners don’t know about these little
butterflies, but they are so unique. Over the years we
have seen Gray Hairstreaks, Red-banded Hairstreaks, and
my favorite the much larger Great Purple Hairstreaks.
reason I am writing about it now is that you will have
to start your search to find it now. There are some very
reputable mail order sites just in case your favorite
garden center doesn't stock them. You’ll be happy to
know that once you get one you may find a little
reseeding to have plants for other areas of the garden.
Lace will reach 4- to 5 1/2-feet tall with a spread of
around 3- to- 4 feet. It thrives in fertile well-drained
soil and needs plenty of sun to reach its maximum
potential. If you are a cut flower lover, you will
rejoice as everyone raves about the texture and beauty
in the vase whether it's cut in bloom or after the
petals have fallen.
you start growing Golden Lace patrinia, you will want to
pull up a chair with a good pair of close-focusing
binoculars, your digital camera and hang out all day.
You will also want to bring along an insect nature guide
as you will have more bees, wasps, and butterflies than
you ever knew existed, enjoy.