Herbaceous Plants to Cherish, Part 5
|Published: 3rd August 2009 19:08|
Dierama pulcherrimum (Angel's fishing rods, wandflower)
Dierama pulcherrimum (Angel's fishing rods, wandflower)The word ‘pulcherrimum' is from the latin meaning ‘most beautiful' and it is not difficult to see how this gained its botanical name! When I last saw this, a light breeze was blowing, causing the delicate stems to move gently - a most pleasing effect.
The funnel or bell-shaped flowers in shades of coral - pink to red grow on stems up to 5ft (1.1m) high and look especially good next to Phlox paniculata,
Penstemon or the perennial Salvia coccinea.
Dierama are frost-hardy to half-hardy, so some protection may be needed over winter, although, once established, clumps may survive temperatures as low as -10 degreesC.
Propagation is by division of clumps in spring or by seed in spring or autumn. Some patience is needed when sowing Dierama, as they are slow to germinate and develop but the resulting blooms bring their own reward.
Echinacea purpurea (purple cone flower)
Echinacea purpurea (purple cone flower)From the same ‘stable' as Rudbeckia, this is a very attractive flower which can be purple, rose-pink or white, with a dark centre. They are a stunning addition to a late-summer border and will tolerate an element of dry conditions. They can be used for cut flowers and extracts of the plant are said to ward off symptoms of the common cold.
Some varieties may grow to 5ft (1.5m), so staking would be required but most, such as ‘ Kim's Knee High' would be just 18-24in (45-60cm).
The good news is that Echinacea are fully hardy, the bad news being that young growth is very susceptible to the scourge of slugs and snails.
Propagate Echinacea by seed in spring or early autumn or by division in spring or autumn.
It is possible to leave seedheads of Echinacea through the winter and the resultant frosted seedheads make a good picture in winter.
By Author: Martin Horne