When it comes to hedges in the Caribbean, there are many options, but few of those choices will grace your landscape with constant flowers like thryallis — or by its Latin name, Galphimia gracilis.
Even as a stand-alone shrub, it is a marvellous addition to any landscape with its dainty, star-shaped yellow flowers and handsome texture.
Here in the Cayman Islands, one could expect this shrub to reach 4 to 5 feet tall in the right conditions, whereas in its native habitat of Central America, it can reach up to 10 feet tall.
Once established, thryallis has minimal watering needs, and is quite drought tolerant. With regard to maintenance, it is very straightforward. It can take a hard pruning to reduce or control height, and does not require constant deadheading in order to continue blooming.
The ever-blooming (year round) broad-leaf evergreen prefers full sun to part shade. More shade will reduce vigor and blooms if you want little to no maintenance, and full sun will give you a denser plant with more flowers, thus requiring more pruning.
It does not respond well to harsh winds, so it should be planted in a somewhat protected area. Because it is upright and compact, it is hard to go wrong with thryallis.
In Camana Bay, thryallis is thoughtfully planted as a hedge near the new Foster’s Food Fair grocery store construction site, where it has full sun and protection from harsh winds.