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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Bupleurum rotundifolium 'Green Gold'
THOROW-WAX, HARE'S EAR, HOUND'S EAR
Central and southern Europe, and Central Asia.
Annual or short-lived perennial.
Sunset zones: not listed.
USDA zones: 4-8.
Height: 18-24 inches (45-60 cm).
Width: 12 inches (30 cm).
A compound umbel consists of seven to twelve star-shaped, yellowish green flowers in each umbel and surrounded by large green bracts.
Bluish-green, round leaves.
Fertilize monthly, spring through early summer, with a complete organic fertilizer.
Sow seed in situ in spring or indoors 6 weeks before last frost at 60-65°F (15-18°C). Germination in 15 days.
Pests and Diseases:
Very few problems with this plant. Leafminers may cause minor problems.
Rainy Side Notes
Bupleurum adapts well to growing in a seashore garden. Although the species has naturalized in other parts of the USA, there are no reports of this plant being a problem in the Pacific Northwest. For cut flowers, it is a superb choice for filler in bouquets. The flowers look like Euphorbia blossoms, but don't bleed a milky sap that causes allergic reactions in many people and the leaves look similar to eucalyptus.
This annual is easy to start from seed, either by sowing seeds in the garden or ahead of time indoors. When transplanting space plants 12 inches apart, being careful not to disturb the roots. For cut flowers, provide support for straighter stems.
B. 'Green Gold' will flower all summer long if flowers when deadheaded regularly. Harvest just after the flower turns yellow. After cutting the blossoms there is no special preconditioning needed for a longer vase life. Their vase life is about 7 to 10 days. For dried flowers, cut the stems while flowers are still young and fresh, and hang upside down to dry.
In traditional Chinese medicine, bupleurum is called Chai Hu and is used for many ailments. There are too many to list here, but some uses are for fevers, flu, the common cold, cough, fatigue and headache.
A member of the carrot family, the leaves can be eaten either fresh in salads, or cooked. I haven't tried it myself but plan to do so next year.
Other names for bupleurum are Bei Chai Hu, Chi Hu, Chinese Thoroughwax, Hare's Ear Root, Sho-saiko-to, shrubby hare's-ear, sickle-leaf hare's-ear, and thoroughwax. This plant must remind too many people of many strange things.
Photographed in author's garden.