the real sweet stinker

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damianita
Chrysactinia mexicana
asteraceae

  • NORMALLY 2' x 2'

  • yellow flowers spring through fall

  • evergreen groundcover

  • MODERATE WATER (TERRACE ZONE)

  • FULL SUN

  • HARDY TO ABOUT 0º F

  • NECTAR PLANT FOR BUTTERFLIES AND native bees

Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana) has an amazingly sweet, lemony aroma that acts like a double-edged sword: on one hand, the aroma is meant to attract specific pollinator species of butterflies and native bees. On the other hand, the same volatile chemical protects it from being eaten by too many organisms. 

Either way, this is a wonderful landscape plant that looks gorgeous most of the year, and attracts those critters you want in your landscape. With the flowers rising above the foliage it grows to about 2' tall, and spreads just a tad wider. Plants take full sun, moderately low water, and temperatures down to about 0º F. If plants are getting too woody and bony, prune them back to encourage new growth (do this in early spring). 

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Katherine Gierlach