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Acaena microphylla

New Zealand burr

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour



Attractive seed-heads, Dramatic foliage



Skill level


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Plant details

This is another very fine plant from New Zealand, which forms a dense carpet of bronze-green leaves. In autumn, when in bloom, the brightly coloured, burr-like flower-heads form bright red patches which can last until the mild of winter. The Royal Horticultural Society have given it their prestigious Award of Garden Merit which is for plants of outstanding excellence.

Family: Rosaceae

Genus: Acaena

Species: microphylla

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Red

Foliage colour: Bronze

Feature: Attractive seed-heads, Dramatic foliage

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 3cm

Spread: 60cm

Time to plant seeds: September to October

Reader reviews

Alan Tidd

It's a pest! It is called a burr because the seeds stick like velcro to anything and self-seed everywhere (plus your clothes become covered). The plant scrambles everywhere covering every other plant. You would be better off with Japanese knotweed. At least that looks attractive. Avoid like the plague it is.

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