ArtisTree Plantopinions: Are Thryallis Shrubs Shrubby Enough?

The whole thrill of thryallis is seeing thousands of lemon-colored blooms bloom with abandon. These graceful sun chasers look spectacular planted in masses, in large patio pots or along entry steps. But even with their sunny personality, thryallis shrubs aren’t the most popular member of Florida’s traditional “Shrub Club” because some homeowners prefer denser, shrubbier shrubs. ArtisTree experts weigh in.

Lesser-known thyrallis belongs in Florida’s “Shrub Club.”

Thryallis Shrubs

Can your designers please discuss the merits of thryallis shrubs? My husband says it’s a wild-looking plant and doesn’t belong on a residential property. But I think it would add a nice airy touch to our formal landscape.

— T.A.

Joe Mantkowski, VP Landscape Design, thumbs up:

I love thryallis. It’s a super-hardy evergreen shrub and flowers almost the entire year. For some reason it’s not on many people’s radar screen, maybe because it doesn’t have dense structured look. I’ve used it as an ornamental/focal specimen and also as a background/foundation plant for shorter shrubs and flowers. It also looks great around a pool cage. If you’re looking for a yellow-flowering shrub that’s low maintenance, this is a unique way to add a soft touch to your landscape.

Thryallis Shrubs
A breathtaking hedge of thryallis turns heads at The Lake Club in Florida.

Clinton Lak, Landscape Designer, one thumb up & one thumb down:

I have mixed feelings about thryallis. It’s a native species and performs well in a variety of soils, plus it’s drought tolerant and attracts butterflies. But it gets leggy after a few years and tends to burn out more quickly than other shrubs. The branches are brittle, and since it grows quickly, you have to keep it pruned regularly. It doesn’t tolerate wet feet, either. I wouldn’t recommend this plant unless you’re willing to invest time in maintaining it properly. On the other hand, its aesthetic appeal is outstanding.

Chris Culp, Landscape Designer, thumbs up:

I like thryallis.  It’s a wispy informal plant that flowers pretty much all year. I’ve used this specimen with ornamental grasses and weeping bottlebrush trees. It also works great near lake banks or in rear or side island beds. You do need keep it trimmed or else it can get that “hollow hedge” look. But that shouldn’t be a big issue. It’ll grow up to five feet but you can keep it as low as three. 

Thryallis Shrubs

Brian Clouser, Landscape Designer, thumbs up:

Nothing else looks like it.  I like thryallis when it’s allowed to grow naturally versus being overly manicured. It has a bit of a southern traditional look which requires the right home and overall landscape plan to work well. It’s fairly cold tolerant and animal-resistant, and needs lots of sun to stay nice and full. A hard pruning in late March or early April is best. Once established, it looks like a plant that’s always been there — it has such a natural appearance.

Conan Michel, Plant Purchaser, thumbs up:

Thinking of thryallis reminds me of an oil painting of flowers in a cottage-garden setting. This plant’s not very distinct but it creates an area of bright color and warm, soft texture. You can use it to create a bright spot in your landscape or pot it up for a patio plant. Smells good, is drought-tough and flowers throughout the year. Thryallis shrubs also attract bees and butterflies. I recommend at least one!

ArtisTree “Plantopinions” is a roundtable debate between multiple ArtisTree experts on the virtues of various plant specimens. Sometimes there’s consensus and sometimes not. In the end, you are the judge.

ArtisTree Landscape


ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design has proudly served Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties since 1990.


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