Made for Shade: Green and Gold

Last year we added a delicious little plant behind some rocks in a shady area in front of Norway spruce. The area tends to be a bit dry because of the trees. Besides shade from the spruces, this spot also is in the black walnut "zone," so we knew that was a possible threat. Regardless, the new acquisition took hold and has done exceedingly well.

It's common name is Green and Gold. Really.

Chyrsogonum virginianum

, the southern version, stays very low--about four inches--and here in Brevard, NC, is evergreen. The official status of the plant is semi-evergreen. The northern version is reportedly a bit taller, but still under one foot in height. We put in seven plants altogether last year--interspersed with heuchera and hosta--and they have filled in nicely.

Green and Gold can function as a ground cover if it is planted densely enough. The stems are very hairy, which likely contributes to its successful avoidance of snackage by deer. Even the leaves are hairy, though less so than the stems.  


does require well-drained soil--solid clay will not make it happy! Moisture levels are less critical--you can even use Green and Gold in a rain garden, provided it gets at least partial shade.

While Green and Gold blooms heavily in May, it can continue to bloom sporadically throughout the summer and into fall. It generally prefers neglect and is not prone to pests or disease. It is easy to divide and evidently prefers to be massacred in such a fashion every couple of years. So share it with friends! Unless you have a ground hog... ours is taking such great delight in munching the Green and Gold we won't need to worry about dividing...!


NC State


Hemlock Assassins

Hemlock Assassins

Munch Hog

Munch Hog