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Acaena inermis 'Purpurea'

Pronunciation: ah-SEE-nah ih-NER-mis
Family: Rosaceae
Common Name: Purple sheep's burr, Purple goose leaf
Cultivar: Purpurea
Plant Type:
  • perennial
Height to: Less then 6in
Width to: 3ft
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • early summer
Bloom Description: Purple sheep's burr (Acaena inermis 'Purpurea') bear whitish flowers on stalks develop then globes of spiny bracts form into brown burrs
Soil Type: Well-drained, sandy soil
Pests and Diseases: Powdery mildew, rust.
Propagation: Sow Purple sheep's burr (Acaena inermis 'Purpurea') seeds at 64-71º F/18-22º C for 2-4 weeks, move to 24-39º F/-4 to +4º C for 4-6 weeks, move to 41-53º F/5-12º C very slow to germinate
Native to: Southern Alps, South Island, New Zealand
Winter Sowing Zones: 6-8
Notes for Identification:

This subshrub from New Zealand has scalloped leaves that reach 3 inches across with 11 to 15 tiny, purple-brown to pale olive leaflets. Its rhizomatous roots spread in a mat to support this plant's wonderful ground-cover form. In early summer, the flower stems rise nearly 3 inches tall, ending with numerous 3/4-inch-wide flowers composed of brownish green sepals and white anthers. Purple sheep's burr spreads slowly until well established. It requires little attention, other than pruning every five years or so to tidy things up.
Noteworthy characteristics: Scalloped, purple leaves. Low maintenance.

Source: Various sources including Fine Gardening Magazine, The American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and the USDA


USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
Seed photo: 0
Located in: Perennials
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