Aurinia–commonly called basket-of-gold–forms low-growing dense clusters of tiny golden yellow flowers. Basket-of-gold is a small-scale ground cover for border foregrounds and rock gardens. Flowers appear in spring and early summer.
Aurinia forms low, tufted rosettes of lance- to spoon-shaped evergreen leaves. Showy, rounded clusters of tiny four-petaled flowers in yellow and white appear above the foliage creating a colorful mat.
Use Aurinia as a ground cover or edging at the front of a bed or border. It can also be grown in containers or at the top of walls as a cascading plant.
Get to know Aurinia
- Plant type: Herbaceous evergreen perennial
- Growing Zones and range: Zones 4-8; short-lived in humid regions.
- Hardiness: Hardy to -35°F (-37°C) but can be killed by very cold winters; avoid excessively hot and humid climates
- Height and width: 8 to 12 inches (20-30cm) tall; 12 to 18 inches wide
- Foliage: Low-growing clumps narrow, lance-shaped, hairy leaves; creeping stems flop during flowering
- Flower form: Each flower has four rounded petals; small flowers are grouped in rounded 1-inch clusters
- Flower color: Yellow, gold
- Bloom time: Late spring and early summer
- Uses: Use as a foreground plant in borders and rock gardens.
- Garden companions: rockcress (Aubrieta), and pinks (Dianthus)
- Common name: Basket-of-Gold
- Botanical name: Aurinia saxatilis
- Family: Brassicaceae
- Origin: Southern Europe to Russia and Turkey
Where to plant Aurinia
- Grow Aurinia in full sun.
- Aurinia will grow in any soil that is dry.
Aurinia uses and companions
- Use Aurinia in borders and as edging.
- Plant Aurinia so it can spill over a wall or in a rock garden.
- Good companions for Aurinia include Centranthus rubber, Iris sempervirens, beared Iris, Papaver orientale, Phlox subulata.
When to plant Aurinia
- Plant in spring or fall. Add grit and sand to soil that is too rich in organic matter.
Planting and spacing Aurinia
- Set established plant 12 to 18 inches (30-45cm) apart.
- Aurinia does not like to be transplanted; fall is the best time to transplant Aurinia.
- Sow seed 1/8 inch deep in evenly prepared soil.
How to water and feed Aurinia
- Water Aurinia only in periods of extreme drought.
- Trim lightly after flowering to keep plants neat and compact.
Aurinia pests and diseases
- Heavy moist soils and high humidity will encourage root rot. Plant in well-drained soil.
- Aurinia seed germinates in 7 to 14 days at 65°F (18°C).
- Aurinia readily self-sow. Sow seed in fall.
- Divide Aurinia in spring or fall.
Aurinia varieties to grow
- Aurinia saxatilis, basket-of-gold: vigorous, mound-forming species with gray-green leaves; grows to 8 inches tall and spread to 12 inches; bears dense, rounded clusters of brilliant yellow flowers. Cultivars include: ‘Variegata’ has leaves edged with pale green; ‘Tom Thumb’ and ‘Compacta’ grows 3 to 6 inches high; ‘Sunny Border Apricot’ has peach-colored flowers.
Aurinia saxatilis (Alyssum saxatile) — Basket-of-gold
Aurinia saxatilis blooms from early to mid-spring. It is a wonderful bulb companion. The tight, rounded clusters of golden yellow, four-petaled flowers are held just above the foliage, completely blanketing its mat-forming, gray, 2- to 5-inch-long, spoon-shaped leaves. Basket-of-gold spreads rapidly into cascading evergreen clumps.
- Size: 8 inches to 1 foot high; 1 foot wide.
- Light: Full sun.
- Soil and moisture: Average to sandy, well-drained soil; drought tolerant.
- Planting and propagation: Plant container-grown plants in spring, spacing 1 to 1 ½ feet apart. Take stem cuttings in summer.
- Special care: Cut back after flowering for compactness and for possible reblooming. Resents transplanting.
- Pests and diseases: May rot in winter-wet soil. Flops in rich soil.
- Climate: Zones 3-7; poor performer in heat and humidity. Use as biennial in the South, planting in fall and discarding after spring blooming.
- Cultivars: ‘Citrinium,’ pale lemon-yellow, 10 inches tall; ‘Compactum,’ golden yellow, 6 inches tall, compact; ‘Sunny Border Apricot,’ apricot, 10 inches tall; ‘Dudley Neville Variegated,’ apricot-buff flowers, white-variegated leaves; ‘Variegatum,’ gold-edged leaves.
- Garden use: Best arranged so plants can spill over wall. Compact forms work well as border edging.
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