Great Plants this Month Summer

Umbilicus oppositifolius AGM

(formerly Chiastophyllum oppositifolium AGM)

lamb’s tail

image of Louise Sims
Louise Sims

Not for the first time am I made a little grumpy by plant name changes. It took a while to get the old one into my head and once embedded there, I used to relish the occasions when friends would spot it in the garden and ask what it was called! No worries, the new name is almost as good a mouthful!

Lamb’s tail is not commonly seen in gardens which is a shame as it has so much going for it: it’s undemanding, very hardy, drought tolerant, and unusually, it loves to grow in the shade.

In our garden, it is happiest in the shady side of a dry stone wall, but it would also be suitable in a rockery, a container or at the edge of a border. This alpine succulent is a low growing (to 20cm), semi-evergreen perennial, and is a near relative of the sedum tribe; it will slowly spread and in late spring and early summer the dangling stems bear (like catkins) these delightful sunshine-yellow flowers.

For most of the year you won’t even remember it’s there but when it does strut its stuff, you will agree that it really does deserve the RHS’s award of garden merit!

NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 and is for sale in our online shop here.

More NB If you’re not already a subscriber and you’d like a bit more gardening chitchat from the3growbags, please type your email address here and we’ll send you a new post every Saturday morning.

By the3growbags

We're three sisters who love gardening, plants and even the science of horticulture but we're not all experts. We'd love everyone even remotely interested in their gardens to be part of our blogsite.

2 replies on “Umbilicus oppositifolius AGM”

I love this little plant and agree about the name change too. I have this in shady and sunny parts and it is easy to take out if it spreads too much. Plus you can take loads of cuttings to sell at charity events.

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