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Plant of the Month: Tauhinu / Cottonwood

Tauhinu, Cottonwood Ozothamnus leptophyllus

We lost a little bit of ground earlier this year – it slipped down the hill!  We wanted to plant something that is native, not too tall and attractive for birds and bees and is recognised as an erosion prevention plant.

The decision has not been made but one that is close to the top is Tauhinu. This fast-growing bushy shrub is good for soil erosion reaching its maximum height of two metres in 10–15 years. It looks a little like manuka with small silver-green leaves that have fine silver hair underneath, the stems are silver/white giving the plant an attractive silver-grey appearance. From July to August it flowers in profusion, with clusters of tiny cream daisy shape flowers that are followed by down-covered seed heads. It prefers a sunny location and is frost hardy and can be kept trimmed

Tauhinu can colonise bare hillsides and pasture, its seeds readily dispersed by the wind, and its rapid growth acts as a nursery plant for other species.


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