Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Coleonema pulchrum 'Sunset Gold'

Common Name
Golden Breath of Heaven
CA Native
Plant Type
2' - 4' x 2' - 4'
Flower Color
Bloom Time
  • Spring
Yellow-Green Needle-like Leaves
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Bees
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Erosion Control
  • Fragrance
Water Use
  • Moderate
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Not Particular
Good Drainage
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

Coleonema is a medium to large shrub with bright yellow-green aromatic soft heath-like leaves and small star-like pink or white flowers in the late winter and spring  The branches are thin and flexible so they move with the wind. This is a good shrub for banks, hillsides and along paths where their aromatic fragrance is released when brushed against.

Plant in a sunny, well-drained area of your garden. Coleonema can tolerate part shade but does best in full sun. Set rootball at ground level and fill hole with a soil mixture of equal parts soil and soil amendments. Water regularly until established. It is  fairly drought tolerant once established. Fertilize in spring just before new growth begins. Shear lightly after main bloom to control size  and keep compact. However, many think that it looks better unsheared as it will move more with the wind.

Bees enjoy the nectar from this plant.

No significant pests or diseases.

Master Gardener Comments

I have this shrub planted on a south facing hillside. The hillside looks golden in the sun. I rarely prune it so that it has gotten very wide. I love the way it flows with the wind. It looks like the whole hillside is alive.


C. album - white flowers

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