By Riann Harrison
If you are looking for an ideal plant to grow in dry shade then I have the perfect suggestion for you, it’s the Arthropodium cirratum or commonly known as the NZ Rock Lily.
A native of NZ this plant is a clump forming perennial with lush green strap-like foliage. It grows approximately 85cm high x 1 metre wide and it thrives in filtered sun to part shade and very tolerant of dry conditions. The beautiful feature of this plant are the masses of delicate clusters of nodding white flowers with soft pink buds above the lovely foliage during spring.
Having my own garden that is very shaded with many well established deciduous and evergreen trees I was having challenges growing anything beneath them until I gave the Arthropodium a chance. To me it was like discovering gold, it thrived so much that most of my garden now consists of mass plantings of the Arthropodium underneath all my large trees. The impact of them when they are in flower is so impressive that passer-bys approach me to ask what the plant is called.
Once established they rarely need water in such a competitive environment. I fertilise them each spring and they need their old bottom leaves removed a couple of times a year. The one and only disadvantage is that the snails love their fresh new foliage especially after rain but that is easily rectified by a sprinkling of Multicrop Snail Bait amongst the foliage. This plant will reward you unconditionally in what can at times be a difficult spot. Enjoy.