We have bronze, and we have gold, but we have no silver, at least not in these six pictures. I suppose I could have posted a picture of Eucalyptus cinerea or Echeveria glauca. I thought it would be more interesting to contrast two different cultivars of each of these three species. Only two are truly bronze. Only one is truly gold. They contrast nicely anyway.

1. Bronze smoke tree – Cotinus goggygria – Modern cultivars with richer color like this are now considered to be ‘purple’. When I studied it in the 1980s, the old fashioned bronze cultivars were still available.P90713

2. Gold smoke tree – These might not have been available back in the 1980s. I do not remember every seeing one. I am not often impressed with their vigor; but I have seen them doing quite well in some situations.P90713+

3. Bronze canna – Canna spp. – I believe this is the cultivar ‘Wyoming’, with bronze foliage and rich orange bloom. The bronze color does not show up well here. Other cultivars are much darker purplish bronze.P90713++

4. Gold canna – Just as the bronze cannna is more bronze than it looks here, this one is more golden, particularly when the foliage is new. Obviously, it is variegated as well. The foliage is as interesting as the bloom.P90713+++

5. Bronze New Zealand flax – Phormium tenax – It might be known by a cultivar name rather than the species name of ‘tenax‘ followed by a cultivar name. Weird modern hybridization complicates nomenclature.P90713++++

6. Gold New Zealand flax – I really though that this one was ‘Yellow Wave’, but it does not look like that here. The variegation is more white than yellow. Could this variegation instead be classified as silvery?P90713+++++

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:


20 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: No Silver

  1. Interesting Six that shows the different varieties. I also grow a smoke tree (‘Royal purple’) and the phormium ‘Yellow wave’ which is as you say less silver than yours and more yellow. I will add it to a future SoS in the coming weeks.

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    1. I believe that the smoke tree is ‘Royal Purple’, but I really do not know. The last time I grew it in a nursery, it was still the old bronzed sort. I grew ‘Yellow Wave’ New Zeland flax many years ago, but it was not easy. It has a high reversion rate, and we lacked the staff to groom the sports out. I see it doing the same in landscapes. Also, it can get roasted if the weather gets too warm and sunny.

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    1. It is no surprise that you like something so bold and so gold . . . like the boots. I would say that I dislike it, but I have seen it look spectacular in other landscapes, particularly in conjunction with the purplish bronze. There is a building in downtown Santa Cruz that has a pair of matching patio landscapes, with one on the left and one on the right. One side is all gold foliage, and the other is all purplish bronze. What is weirder is that they are all the same species! Seriously, each side matches the other, but contrasts in color. It is weird but rad.


    1. They are the sort of shrubbery that I like in other people’s gardens. They look great, and I do not need to work with them. They are one of the few plants that I am allergic to, like light duty poison oak. Their autumn color is pretty flashy for our mild climate.


    1. Disappoinging! I actually prefer the plain green. These are at work, where we have a good mix, and too much plain green might be boring. I happened to purchase ‘Australia’ for my downtown planter box, but only to contrast with the pale yellowish green of the houseleeks. (I can not believe that I payed money for a canna!)


    1. You dislike them also? I was hesitant to say anything bad about them because I know how popular they are. I sort of like them in other people’s gardens, but I do not enjoy working with them directly.

      Liked by 1 person

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