Bupleurum Shrubby Hare’s Ear



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Bupleurum fruticosum

A small evergreen shrub which is unusual for being of the umbellifer (Apiaceae – carrot) family. This plant is a really tough thing, tolerating drought, dry soils, frost, exposure and coastal conditions. Its natural habitat is on sunny hills, walls and rocky places from Southern Europe to Northern Africa. It is featured in Beth Chatto‘s dry gardens in England and is perfect for naturalistic plantings.  I’ve had mine for over 10 years and never had to do a thing with it. A sunny spot is preferred but mine has had a wall of california lilacs grow over the top of it and it’s still quite happy!

Its glossy blue-grey leaves can blend with other plantings (it can be used as part of a hedge) or on its own it would be a stand out shrub, especially in summer when umbels of sulphur yellow flowers are produced, causing the stems to arch downwards gracefully. Being of the umbellifer family the flowers are great for attracting beneficial insects such as bees, ladybirds  and hoverflies.

The roots of bupleurum species have been used medicinally in a range of Chinese and Japanese formulas for over 200 years, to treat a wide range of disorders including respiratory and digestive issues, fatigue, cancer and malaria. They are sometimes used in combination with Panax ginseng and licorice to help stimulate adrenal gland function. More recently thorough phytochemical investigations of approximately 50 Bupleurum species led to the isolation and identification of almost 250 natural compounds from all major phytochemical classes and it is anticipated that the genus still holds other therapeutically relevant species probably containing other bioactive substances that have not yet been explored. Secondary metabolites isolated belong to the classes of phenolics, lignans, terpenoids (triterpenoids and sterols), mono‐ and sesquiterpenes (essential oils) and polyacetylenes. In addition, minor components, including phenylpropanoids, polysaccharides and a few alkaloids, have also been reported.  Like many members of the family Apiaceae, all representatives of the genus Bupleurum also produce essential oils. See National Library of Medicine for more info.

Fast growing to 2 m. Frost hardy.

11cm pot, Certified organic 2 year old plants

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