Platinum Beauty™ Lomandra
By Susan Morrison
It is amazing how many of my clients request ornamental grasses for their garden designs, only to change their minds when they discover most varieties must be cut to the ground in the winter. Enter Platinum Beauty™ Lomandra, an exceptional choice for year-round interest in hot, dry gardens. Although it looks like an ornamental grass, because it is actually a perennial herb, it does not require cutting back and in fact, is virtually maintenance-free.
Narrow cream-colored leaves with green margins arch delicately to the ground, giving this grass-like plant a particularly graceful appearance. Reaching an ultimate size of 3’ by 3’, its willowy shape and elegant, variegated foliage make it stand out for low water gardeners who crave a structured yet soft look.
Platinum Beauty is hardy in USDA Zone 8-10 and Sunset Zones 12-24. I’ve included this versatile plant in numerous client gardens and find that it thrives in a range of conditions, from part shade, to cooler coastal conditions to the punishing heat found in inland gardens like my own. In fact, despite being planted in full sun during a week of 100-degree weather, it is flourishing in my own garden, despite a hot summer followed by an unusually cold and rainy winter.
Platinum Beauty looks beautiful lining a front walkway or garden path, or planted in clusters of three to add both color and textural contrast to woody shrubs and herbaceous perennials. Look for companion plants that echo the softly colored leaves. Silvery-green foliage shrubs like Little Ollie dwarf olive (Olea europea ‘Montra’) or blue-leafed Clarity Blue™ Dianella will shine when planted nearby. Equally stunning near flowering shrubs and perennials, the leaves pair well with flowers that range in color from pure white to soft yellow such as Emerald Snow® Loropetalum, ‘Real Glory’ Leucanthemum, or David Austin ‘Lichfield Angel’ shrub roses.