Name that Plant?

I was at the South Carolina Botanical Garden yesterday for a meeting of the Foothills Master Gardeners and saw a flowering plant covered in bees that has defied identification.

Here’s what it looked like in the garden…


And here’s a small cutting I brought home with me for identification purposes…


The color in the second pic is better, as the rays are a light buttery yellow, not white as they appear in the garden photo.

Most likely, it is a hybrid or cultivar of Ajania pacifica, previously Chrysanthemum pacificum and commonly known as gold and silver chrysanthemum. But Ajania pacifica has button-like flowers without rays, and is typically smaller than this plant which (if my memory is correct) stood about 16-inches tall. Leaves of the mystery plant do, however, have the woolly white undersides characteristic of Ajania.

If you have a clue, I would love to know its name.

21 thoughts on “Name that Plant?

  1. Chloris

    It looks like what I know as Chrysanthemum x marginatum. Sorry I haven’ t got to grips with the new name yet. I hope you are going to try and root it.

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Chloris–your suggestion is closer than anything else I’ve found, except the rays on the mystery plant are yellow. I will not try to root it myself, but I’m delivering it to a friend this afternoon who is more successful at propagation than I am.

  2. Susan Temple

    I’ve heard it called evergreen variegated mum. A florist was using it in a floral arrangement demo one time at SE Flower Show.

  3. Will Balk

    Marian, like you, I immediately thought of Chrysanthemum – OOPS! – Ajania pacifica (um)…I remember several years ago coming across an image very like yours with the C. p. attribution. But I suspect in that earlier discovery that it may have in fact been a hybrid, and I have come across another Ajania pacifica x Dendranthema sp hybrid, called Pink Ice. Since yours displays the silvery back, I’d go with the A. x D. hybrid as likely. Quite nice.

  4. Gloria Ballard

    I, too, would have guessed Chrysanthemum… something… because of the leaves, but have never seen this before. Cute as a button!

  5. Martha Murtiashaw

    Marian, It reminds me of feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), but I have never seen a variety with such slender rays. The leaves really look like feverfew.

  6. Will Balk

    BTW, I’m sure you’ve contacted the staff at the Botanic Garden, but I thought I’d mention it just in case. Be sure to post here with any major discoveries!

  7. Alice

    In Tony Avant’s description for the ‘Snow Dome’, it mentions a “group” of new hybrids.
    “Chrysanthemum ‘Snow Dome’, our favorite of the new group of hybrids between garden mums and Chrysanthemum pacificum (aka: ajania). This superb selection, thanks to genetics from NC’s Richard Hayes, makes an unbelievable tight dome of cutleaf, silver-backed foliage that forms a perfect 15″ tall x 2′ wide mound.. ”
    This could be another one of the group. Perhaps Richard Hayes could solve the mystery. Marian, do you know him?

  8. Rene Edwards

    I would love to know the name of this chrysanthemum once you have determined your information. Thanks GGMG member

  9. Nancy

    It does remind me of the Ajania pacifica, I recently purchased at Home Depot.
    The leaves seem to have a slight white rim. My flowers haven’t totally opened
    yet. The picture on the tag doesn’t show the lighter yellow but I’ll keep an eye
    on my plant.


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