It's the first year Acantholimon androsaceum (Plumbaginaceae) flowers here. Not very showy yet but hopefully better next year!Probably not androsaceum - look further down.
That looks very nice! The flowers are quite large.
This Acantholimon trojanum bloomed sparingly last year with tiny* flowers - I'm interested to see what it will do this year, if anything.
* Actually, I finally realized that I had missed the actual flowering and only saw the remaining calyx!
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm
Hello fans of prickly buns, I have moved this topic from the "Family, Genera, Species" board to "General Alpines". :)
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
On that note...
Here's Acantholimon trojanum with it's tiny, first flowers - well, the calyces, anyway - last year in 2009 (none in our cold, rainy summer of 2010)...
I am just starting to try to expand my collection of these. Here are a couple grown from seed last year:A. saxifragiforme - seeds from Pavelka (his description: "1600m, Urgup, Turkey: Dwarf dense silver cushions, short leaves 1-2cm, deep pink flowers on scapes 5-10cm; dry hills, very rare."
... and A. kotschyi ssp. laxispicatum, also from Pavelka (his description: "1600m, Kop Dag, Turkey; silvery-grey cushions, dark pink flowers on scapes to 15cm; dry stoney hills; 2008 seed."Just after germination, and at planting-out time.
Also, a young A. tenuifolium:
I wonder how long it will take these to bloom from seed?
It's great seeing the difference between Acantholimon cotyledons and the young spiky rosettes starting to develop. Years ago I grew a bunch of Acantholimon, but no longer have any in my current location. They are intriguing cushion plants.
Lori,how do you germinate the things!??My sole plant came as a seedling from a friend but I've had no success with them - either from the Seedex, commercial seed-sellers or fresh garden seed.cheersfermi
Fermi de Sousa,
Central Victoria, Australia
Min: -7C, Max: +40C
Acantholimon seed is difficult to germinate. Some of the seed is simply not viable, and other seed appears to be ephemeral. On the other hand, some of the seed appears to germinate better after a year in storage. In short, it's a crap-shoot with this genus, so every year I plant a bunch, and every year I get a few. Right now I've 2 plants of Acantholimon acerosum that are about 8 years old, and a couple of others whose names escape me at the moment that are 3 or 4 years old. I learned that in this climate Acantholimon generally need to be sited carefully, away from rocks, to give them the best opportunity to dry off after a rain, or to keep the humidity moving off the plants in the summer. Moisture also tends to collect under the plant in the humid period of the summer, often leading to rot, so I'm very careful to build up about 1 1/2 inches of gravel under each bun and renew it in the spring. When the plants come in contact with soil they rot here, and I've lost several beautiful 2 foot buns in past years. I have no idea what the normal life expectancy of these are, but I recall reading something that Bob Nold wrote, indicating that they live for a while and then just die! No particular reason, other than their lifespan has run its course. Any information about their life expectancy would be helpful.
Peter George, Petersham, MA (north central MA, close to the NH/VT borders), zones 5b and 6 around the property.
Hi, Fermi,Both Acantholimon kotschyi ssp. laxispicatum and Acantholimon saxifragiforme took 5-7 days to germinate in warm conditions, no pre-treatment. In both cases, the seeds I received looked like dried flowers, which I sowed on top of moist medium, and set under lights in my plant stand in the basement.
NB. I had not tried these before, I don't think, and it was very likely beginner's luck in that case!
The most excellent thing about acantholimons (and no one has mentioned it), is that they absolutely are not eaten by the antlered rats. They do occasionally paw one apart trying to find something edible. They are also beautiful but some need quite a bit of space. All my pictures are slides so I'll have to photograph them this year.
Lori, if you hadn't stated otherwise I had presumed that your seedlings were conifers!
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!
Acantholimon are something of a specialty for us in Denver: most are xerophytes that can grow to immense sizes if they are happy (we have had some over a yard across). They make a spectacle in midsummer.
The one best suited to smaller rock gardens, tolerating some irrigation (or rainy climates) is Acantholimon capitatum, also sold as A. bracteatum ssp. capitatum. In the attached picture you can see a specimen alongside Hirpicium armerioides (which towers over it on the left hand side: this is a tiny African daisy actually). The red flag is Papaver rhoeas, and the pale pink in the foreground is Rosularia libanotica. The Dark green mass is Daphne x susannae 'Anton Fahndrich', in front of which on the far left is the gray, cut foliage of Salvia caespitosa. If you can grow these, you can probably grow the drumstick spikethrift as well. Worth any effort in my opinion!
For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.