Showy 2-inch (5 cm) clusters of ball-shaped, red buds are cradled in soft, silvery foliage. They open to starry white flowers with prominent yellow centers and the genus' distinctive stiff, papery texture, gradually fading to a soft oatmeal hue. Foliage is attractive all summer, especially if given a light shearing after flowering. Blooms May through June in the US; March through May in the UK. With most plants, gardeners eagerly await the opening of the buds into their final, full-flowered form. Not so in the case of 'Ruby Cluster', whose buds are as attractive and interesting as the flowers they will become - perhaps even more so. Though not hardy in much of North America, it is evergreen in areas mild enough to enjoy it for more than one season. Elsewhere, this is a marvelous annual and a choice container candidate, forming a tidy, uniform mound of silvery leaves. Comes to Blooms of Bressingham from English gardener Chris Bowyer.
RHS Award of Garden Merit
Front border, Rock garden, Container
Dried flower, Drought tolerant
Thrives in well-drained but not very fertile soil. Like many plants with woolly foliage, it is remarkably drought-tolerant but needs protection from excess moisture to overwinter outdoors. Give a light shearing after flowering. In cooler climates, overwinter in pots indoors, or enjoy as an annual.