Posted on Sep 04, 2015 | by J Kirkpatrick
Aurinia saxatilis is a perennial commonly called Basket of Gold. It is also often called Alyssum. It is a long-lived trailing plant with a slight tendency to reseed.
Its form is an upright mounding clump with a gray-green, slightly fuzzy leaf. It will do best in full sun with protection from the afternoon sun. Hardy in Zones 3 through 7, possibly into 8 or 9 with afternoon protection a must. The plant is a fast growing plant and averages 12" in height with a 3' spread. Water requirements are moderate to low.
Aurinia is an excellent spring-flowering plant. Its flowers are very fragrant clusters that completely hide the leaves during the main bloom period. After the blooms fade, a tan seed head is formed. Seed heads are not showy. The main bloom ends late spring and is usually followed by a not-as-showy second bloom that continues on and off until late October or early November if protected from the hot afternoon sun. July and August the plants will start to fail. In hot, dry environments the lifespan is only two to three years. It is suggested you replant every two years.
Some of the more common cultivars are:
- 'Compacta' - Will grow only 8" high and bear bright yellow flowers.
- 'Golden Queen' - Gray foliage and pale yellow flowers.
- 'Sunnyborder Apricot' - Flowers have an apricot tint.
A planting of Aurinia will work well as a specimen, in borders, rock gardens, cutting gardens, fragrance gardens, slopes and in mass plantings. And work beautifully as a cascading plant.
Propagation is simple. The plant is easily divided in the fall after flowering. You can also take cuttings in the spring after flowering or in the fall. If you wish to seed, the seed requires no pretreatment, 70-75 degrees warmth and humidity. Germination will take place in 14 to 21 days.
Disease is not a significant problem with Aurinia. It is recommended that you cut the plant back 1/3 after flowering.