Green and Gold Chrysogonum virginianum

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
golden knee


The plant known as green-and-gold is a perennial that adds a charming appeal to garden spaces with its bright and cheerful disposition. The foliage of this plant is made up of heart-shaped to almost triangular leaves, which are medium green in color and have a lightly serrated edge that provides a delicate texture. The true standout feature, however, is the profusion of star-shaped flowers that adorn the plant. These blossoms are a vibrant yellow, with five petals each, and they have a radiant quality that almost seems to glow against the green backdrop of the foliage. These flowers are typically present in spring and continue to add splashes of color into the early summer, sometimes even reblooming in the fall. The green-and-gold is a low-growing plant, spreading gently to form a mat-like coverage that fits beautifully as a ground cover. Its dense leafy presence is excellent for suppressing weeds and covering bare spots in the landscape, creating a tapestry of green that is punctuated by the bright yellow blooms. This lovely plant thrives best in partly shaded conditions but can also handle a bit more sun, making it quite versatile in various garden settings. It's particularly favored for its ability to bring a lively burst of color to woodland gardens or along the edges of pathways, where its charming appearance can be fully appreciated.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Green And Gold, Golden Knee, Goldenstar

    • Common names

      Chrysogonum australe, Chrysogonum virginianum var. australe.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Green and gold, the common name for Chrysogonum virginianum, is not known to be toxic to humans. This plant is generally considered safe and does not typically cause adverse effects if ingested.

    • To pets

      Green and gold is not known to be toxic to pets either. This plant is generally regarded as non-toxic to cats, dogs, and other domestic animals, so there are no specific symptoms of poisoning associated with it. However, individual animals might have varying sensitivities, so it is always wise to monitor pets and prevent them from ingesting large quantities of any non-food plants.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      0.5-1 feet (15-30 cm)

    • Spread

      0.5-1.5 feet (15-45 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Southeastern United States


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Chrysogonum virginianum, commonly known as Green and Gold, adds vibrant green foliage and cheerful yellow flowers to gardens, enhancing visual interest.
    • Groundcover: Its spreading habit makes it an effective ground cover, reducing soil erosion and suppressing weed growth.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, Green and Gold is a low maintenance plant, requiring minimal care and being tolerant of a range of soil conditions.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The bright flowers attract a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies, benefiting the local ecosystem.
    • Shade Tolerance: Green and Gold can thrive in partial shade, making it suitable for woodland gardens and shaded areas where other plants might struggle.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, it demonstrates some drought resistance, making it a good choice for gardens in drier climates.
    • Native Species: As a native plant to the United States, it supports biodiversity and is generally well-adapted to local conditions, requiring less water and fertilizer than non-native species.
    • Seasonal Interest: Green and Gold provides year-round interest with its evergreen foliage in milder climates, and bright blooms in the spring and summer.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • As a natural dye: Chrysogonum virginianum, commonly known as Green and Gold, can be used to produce a yellow dye for textiles, though it's not among the most common dye plants.
    • In artistic compositions: The vibrant yellow flowers of Green and Gold can be pressed and used in floral art works or to create natural patterns in papermaking.
    • As an educational tool: This plant is useful for botanical studies and plant identification exercises due to its unique characteristics and presence in Eastern North American flora.
    • For ground stability: Green and Gold’s spreading habit and mat-forming growth can help prevent soil erosion on slopes and in garden areas prone to erosion.
    • As a living mulch: The dense foliage of Green and Gold can be used in garden beds to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture, functioning as a living mulch.
    • In butterfly gardens: Although not commonly touted for this use, the flowers of Green and Gold can attract some butterflies and other pollinators, enriching biodiversity.
    • For seasonal festivals: Sometimes, the bright flowers are gathered for use in spring festivals or decorations as symbols of growth and renewal.
    • In historical landscaping: Green and Gold can be used in historical or period gardens to represent the native flora of the time in areas where it’s indigenous.
    • For green roofing: This plant can potentially be used on green roofs for its low-growing habitat and tolerance of a range of light conditions, although it's not a typical choice for this purpose.
    • As landscape photography subject: Its striking flowers and shiny foliage can provide excellent subjects for macro and landscape photography, especially in natural woodland settings.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Green-and-gold is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Green-and-gold is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Charm and Grace: Chrysogonum virginianum, commonly known as Green and Gold, is often associated with charm and grace due to its delicate and cheerful yellow flowers that add a touch of elegance to the landscape.
    • Resilience: This plant symbolizes resilience as it can thrive in various conditions, representing the ability to adapt and withstand adversity.
    • Cheerfulness: The bright yellow blossoms of Green and Gold symbolize joy and cheerfulness, bringing a sunny disposition to gardens and natural areas where it grows.
    • Nature's Balance: As a native plant of North America, the Green and Gold signifies the importance of preserving natural habitats and maintaining the balance of local ecosystems.
    • New Beginnings: Due to its vigorous growth in spring, this plant is often seen as a symbol of new beginnings and renewal.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Green and Gold should be watered deeply to ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. During the growing season, it usually requires watering once a week, particularly in the absence of rain. When establishing new plants, they may need watering every few days to help them get established. As a rule, provide approximately one gallon of water per square yard every week, adjusting for rainfall. During hot, dry spells, increase watering slightly, but always allow the soil to dry slightly between watering to prevent root rot.

  • sunLight

    Green and Gold thrives in partial shade, enjoying the dappled sunlight under taller plants or in a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. It can also tolerate full shade, making it a versatile groundcover for shaded gardens. Avoid intense afternoon sun as it can scorch the leaves and stress the plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Green and Gold prefer temperate climates with temperatures ranging between 60°F and 75°F. It can survive winter temperatures down to about 20°F but may die back at these lower extremes, returning in spring. During hot summer periods when temperatures exceed 85°F, the plant may go dormant until cooler conditions prevail.

  • scissorsPruning

    Green and Gold can be pruned to maintain its shape and encourage denser growth. Prune or pinch back the tips of the foliage in early spring to promote bushier growth. Additionally, after the first flush of flowers, trimming back can encourage a second bloom. Pruning is not strictly necessary but can be done yearly as new growth begins.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Green-and-gold prefers a well-draining soil rich in organic matter with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. An ideal soil mix can be made from equal parts of garden soil, compost, and peat or leaf mold to maintain acidity and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Green-and-gold does not often require repotting as it is a perennial ground cover, but division and replanting every 3-4 years can rejuvenate overcrowded clumps and spread the growth in the garden.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Green-and-gold thrives best in average to high humidity environments, replicating its natural woodland habitat; however, it is adaptable and does not have stringent humidity requirements.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright indirect light and maintain moist soil.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade with moist, well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Chrysogonum virginianum, commonly known as Green and Gold, begins its life cycle as a seed, sown either naturally or by a gardener, generally in the spring or fall. Upon germination in a moist and well-drained soil, the seedling emerges and develops a rosette of oval to heart-shaped leaves. As it grows, this perennial herb forms a clump through vegetative reproduction, producing stolons that root at their nodes and establish new growth points. Flowering typically occurs in the spring and may continue sporadically throughout the summer, with yellow, star-shaped flowers appearing above the foliage. After pollination, often by insects, the flower develops into a fruit containing seeds, which are dispersed by various means, including gravity, water, or animals. As a hardy perennial, Green and Gold enters a period of dormancy in the winter, with above-ground growth dying back, to begin the cycle anew in the following spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • For Green-and-Gold, otherwise known as Chrysogonum virginianum, the most popular method of propagation is by division. This is typically done in early spring or fall when the plant is not in active bloom. To propagate by division, gently lift the entire plant from the ground using a shovel or garden fork, ensuring to keep a good amount of soil around the roots. Once out of the ground, the clumps can be carefully separated into smaller sections, each with a portion of the roots and several shoots. These individual plantlets can then be replanted in well-amended soil at the same depth they were previously growing and watered in well. Proper spacing should be about 8 to 12 inches apart (20 to 30 centimeters) to give each new section room to grow. This method allows for the rapid increase of plantings and helps maintain the vigor of the plant by rejuvenating older clumps.