Ajania pacifica, also scientifically known as Chrysanthemum pacificum or Dendranthema pacificum
It is a perennial garden plant that is grown as much for its beautiful, variegated silver and green foliage as for its clusters of small, button-shaped yellow flowers.
Ajania pacifica (Pacific chrysanthemum)in flower at Pali o Waipio, Maui, Hawaii photograph by Forest and Kim Starr.
Originally native to central and eastern Asia, it is now cultivated as a decorative perennial throughout the world
This plant thrives in USDA Zones 5-9 (will also grow in zone 4 so fine to -28°C / -20°F); this should classify it as hardy in the UK and Europe to RHS hardiness zone H7.
It is a member of the Asteracea family, along with the daisies and chrysanthemums, which is perhaps why the common name for Ajania pacifica is silver and gold chrysanthemum.
Ajania pacifica flowers close up, photograph by 阿橋 HQ; CC.
Unlike taller, showier chrysanthemum varieties, this particular variety is a low-growing plant perfect for borders and groundcover.
It can also be used in container arrangements.
With few pests and little disease pressure, it's an easy addition to landscaping and flower gardens even for beginning gardeners.
Since Ajania pacifica is typically propagated by cuttings from stems or divisions of their rhizomes, gardeners looking to add them to their collection should look for transplants rather than seeds.
Plant them outdoors after any risk of frost in full sun to partial shade.
They tolerate a wide variety of soil types and pH levels, but good drainage is crucial.
Ajania pacifica Symn. Chrysanthemum pacificum leaves photograph by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.
The plants typically reach about 12 inches (30 cm) high, but pinching back taller growth in early summer will help promote a lower-growing, bushier habit.
Over time, they'll spread horizontally via rhizomes to form mounds up to 36 inches (90 cm) in diameter.
Divide plants in spring to prevent overcrowding. While Ajania pacifica is generally a fairly hardy plant, growers in colder regions such as USDA Zone 5 should provide a bit of extra mulch or other protection to prevent damage in winter.
Gold and silver chrysanthemum image by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.