Plant of the Month for September 2011

Silene bolanthoides; photo by Todd Boland
Silene bolanthoides

Description and general information

This cushion-forming alpine is native to limestone screes the Kaz Dagi region of SE Turkey, growing at elevations up to 1700 m.

Plants reach a height of 5 cm with 5 cm stems ending in a solitary or small cluster of fragrant flowers. The blossoms open pale apricot and age to a pink-peach shade.

Cultivation

Excellent drainage is a must and an alkaline substrate is preferred. This sun lover will tolerate part-shade in hotter regions. the small stature makes them ideal for crevice gardens, screes and troughs.

Bloom period

April in more southern regions but as late as July in northern regions such as Calgary, Alberta

Propagation

Seed or cuttings

Seed

Sow at 20 C - seed should germinate within 3 months. If not, give them 6-8 weeks at 2-4 C then return temperature to 20 C.

Division

Not generally practiced.

Cuttings

1-2 cm tip cuttings may be taken immediately after flowering. Placed in a sandy, porous mix i part-shade, cuttings should root in a few weeks.

 

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