Sun-yellow flowers from spring to autumn, what other perennial has that to offer besides the golden-knee? We present the permanent bloomer and give advice for planting and care.
Profile of golden-knee:
Scientific name: Chrysogonum virginianum
Plant family: aster family (Asteraceae)
Other names: green and gold, goldenstar
Planting time: spring to autumn
Flowering period: May to September
Location: sunny to partially shaded
Soil quality: gritty to loamy, nutrient rich, humus rich
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: flower beds, underplanting, borders, flower garden, natural garden, prairie garden, rock garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 6 (-20 °C / -5 °F)
Bee and insect friendly: Yes
Plant characteristics and classification of golden-knee
Plant order, origin and occurrence of golden-knee
The golden-knee or goldenstar comes from North America. More precisely, from the eastern United States, where it grows, from Rhode Island in the north to Florida and Louisiana in the south, on sunny wooded edges or open spaces that are not too dry. The botanical name of the undemanding perennial is Chrysogonum virginianum, it is assigned to the aster family (Asteraceae).
Characteristics of golden-knee
The perennial, herbaceous plant grow wide, cushion-like, are 20 to 25 centimeters (8 to 10 in) high and 40 centimeters (16 in) wide. They form runners.
The rather large, lanceolate leaves have a serrated to notched edge. Besides the flowers, their high ornamental value makes them an additional eye-catcher in the bed. In floristry, they are therefore often used for bouquets. They are arranged alternately on the stem, evergreen and slightly hairy.
The flat, sun-yellow flowers resemble the flowers of zinnia. They each consist of five ligulate flowers, which in the wild species are narrow and star-shaped around the tubular florets, which are also yellow in the middle. New buds open from May to September on and on. Bees and other pollinating insects like to visit them.
The seed heads are so-called achenes, nut-like indehiscent fruits with only one seed.
Golden-knee – cultivation and care
The golden-knee likes sunny to partially shaded places on exposed beds, but also on the edge of the wood or in the rock garden.
The subsoil should be loose and permeable, rich in humus and minerals. Fresh to moist soil, which can be drier sporadic, is preferred. Chrysogonum virginianum does not tolerate waterlogging.
Place the carpet-like plants at a distance of 20 to 35 centimeters (8 to 14 in). Since they are available in pots, they can be planted from spring to autumn. If it is dry, however, do not forget to water during the growing phase.
If it is very dry additional watering should be provided. However, never water the plants in full sun, rather in the morning or evening hours.
Every year, in spring, it should be given a long-lasting perennial fertilizer or compost to promote growth and flowering. Both organic and mineral fertilizers are suitable for the plants.
Do not cut back the old shoots until spring when the new ones appear. On the one hand, the golden-knee with its evergreen leaves is still an eye-catcher, on the other hand, it protects the plants from frost. If the plants are grown in pots, care should be taken not to let them dry out.
Golden-knee can easily be propagated by cutting off rooted runners. If you want, you can also cut cuttings and then stick them in potting compost until roots form. Keep them moist and warm. Both methods are best used in spring.
It is not necessary to divide the perennials regularly to keep them blooming and vital. On the contrary, Chrysogonum virginianum becomes more and more beautiful over the years.
Diseases and pests
The plants are very robust and healthy. Snails do not cause the golden-knee any problems either.
The best winter protection is to let the old shoots stand over the frosty months. The golden-knee is hardy down to -20 °C / -5 °F.
Use in the garden
The golden-knee can be used in many ways, in beds with a wild shrub character, for example in connection with other American prairie plants such as smooth aster (Aster laevis), blue false indigo (Baptisia australis), calliopsis (Coreopsis), annual fleabane (Erigeron), dense blazing star (Liatris spicata), catnip (Nepeta) or beardtongues (Penstemon). It also fits on the edge of the wood and in rock gardens, where it can be combined, for example, with cranesbills (Geranium) and Serbian bellflower (Campanula poscharskyana). Chrysogonum virginianum appeal best when three to five of them are grouped together.