The best summer flowering drought tolerant shrub

Let’s not do a preamble. It’s this.

Bupleurum fruticosum.

And if you ever wondered why I prefer Latin names to common names. Its common name is apparently Shrubby hare’s ear.


Have you ever been up close to a hare’s ear? They look nothing like this beautiful plant.

Silly. Well maybe you don’t warm to its Latin name either.

I don’t usually fall for yellow flowering plants as a rule.

But this plant is subtle and delicate. It has a good green leaf shape and the yellow blends in the landscape and doesn’t scream overbreeding.

And it’s definitely the right plant if you have extreme weather, drought conditions and a sunny spot to plant it. It is elegant and handsome and will flower for months.

I have two shrubs in the garden.

One is the right plant in the right place.

In the dry garden. Never needs staking. Just a bit of deadheading in winter.

(Sorry about the black oat grass marring the view. I can’t wade in close enough to pull them out just now.)

And the other was planted up in the hedge above my potting shed…

The wrong place.

The oak tree above it had a growth spurt and shaded everything out. But it copes. Never needs watering and just keeps on growing. Albeit in wonky directions.

It does mean I get to prune the flowers that flops over the path and harvest plenty of long stems for the vases at the same time.

If you grow plants for cut flowers you can’t beat this plant.

It has stiff stems, strong straight stalks. And it will easily last a fortnight in a vase.

I haven’t managed to grow any from seed. I’m forever on the lookout for self-seeders nearby, but so far not one.

But I bought two small plants about ten years ago. And have been enjoying the strong steady growth every year.

A winner.