14
November
2011

Mecardonia 'Gold Dust'

mec_golddustA new plant we added for 2012 is Mecardonia ‘Gold Dust’, recently introduced by Proven Winners. This flowering groundcover with abundant yellow flowers also works as a spiller for containers. Its most notable feature is hot weather performance in July and August.

Since the plant is brand new, there is not a lot of production history or design reference available to analyze. Fortunately, several universities trialled the plant last year and we like what we see in their reports.

At the University of Cornell, their trial of ‘Gold Dust’ got off to a slow start but really kicked in by July and August. Their plants formed a consistent mat across the bed and were covered with tiny speckles of yellow flowers.

Now, ‘Gold Dust’ is waiting for the heat to turn up the intensity —just what we need for peak Cincinnati summer color. It did a good job of filling in its garden space and suppressing weeds. There was a very clean, Alpine feel to the planting.

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The University of Tennessee at Knoxville also noted that ‘Gold Dust’ was a profuse bloomer in their trials. They did some nice ground plantings where ‘Gold Dust’ formed a soft, 5-inch bed of yellow and gold around some large shrubs. The edges of the bed were scalloped onto the pathway by ‘Gold Dust’. Best scores here were also achieved in the heat of summer.

Garden writer, Helen Yoest, noticed it also when she trialed ‘Gold Dust’ in 2011 along her driveway. She reported that it spilled out onto the drive and softened the look of the flagstone.

For maximum effect, use this plant along the edges and borders of gardens, especially when you need to soften something hard nearby. In containers, the samples we have seen have that “muffin-top” look—not tall and high, but round and plump over the terra-cotta.

Mecardonias also fill the bill as good nook-and-cranny plantings—we've seen them tucked into rock walls and above boulders. Their ability to drape over such areas makes them ideal for vertical spaces and rocky outcrops.

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We’ve placed Mecardonia ‘Gold Dust’ in our First Year Production Trials, so it will be available in limited quantities next year. We don’t open the production faucet on a completely new plant, but ‘Gold Dust’ possesses a number of desirable qualities that we look for in a peak summer crop.

By the way, be sure to join us at our Field Day presentations. We open our own Trial Beds for our customers, so that they can see the top-performance plants in our mix and discuss the results of the trials with their peers.

The Specs on Mecardonia ‘Gold Dust’:

  • Full sun
  • 2–5 inch height
  • 12–16 inch spread
  • Small flowers over small, dark green leaves
  • Moderate watering—not drought tolerant
  • Spreading habit in beds; spilling habit in containers
  • Peak blooms begin in July—continues to bloom until first frost

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Diefenbacher Greenhouses is a supplier of annuals and creative green goods. We sell directly to Garden Centers and Landscapers in the Cincinnati Area. 

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