Pseudodictamnus

Our Pseudodictamnus (ballotas) are mainly grown in our dry garden (never artificially irrigated) where they created rounded domes of silvery-grey foliage throughout the year. In wild they grow in Southern Europe through to the Middle East, hence their tolerance of hot and dry conditions. Casting back to the summer of 2018, which essentially no rainfall for at least three months and spells of hot temperatures, yet the ballotas looked at their best. Foliage was upright, a little smaller, but revelling in the conditions. Flowers, are small, pink, emerging from a button-like calyx, which holds its shape well after the flowers have finished.

The two species we grow are widely recognised as two of the most important flowering sub-shrubs in midsummer, especially attractive to bumblebees and honeybees. These are some of the species used in nest-building by the attractive wool carder-bee: female bees bite the hairs off the leaves, roll them into a ball and take them to a nest-hole where they are fashioned into a breeding cell. In contrast, males spend their time defending suitable plants against all-comers in an attempt to persuade the females that 'their' hairy leaves are the best!

Previously these were known as Ballota.

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