Plant of the Month for September 2015

Lithodora diffusa
Lithodora diffusa

Description and General Information:

Leontopodium alpinum, commonly known as edelweiss, is native to the mountains of southeastern and south-central Europe. Its distribution ranges from the Pyrenees to the Alps and eastwards over the peninsula of the Balkans to the central Balkans in Bulgaria, where it is found between 1,500-3,400 m asl.  It is confined to limestone substrates.  The genus name comes from Greek and translates as "lion's paw".  Edelweiss is the national symbol for Austria and Switzerland. This common German name translates to "noble white", a reference to the flowers which were highly cherished in parts of southern Europe.

The plant may reach to 30 cm in cultivation but is often less in the wild.  Plants form a clump of many rosettes. Its narrow leaves, flower stems and especially the flowers, are covered in dense hairs, an adaptation to cold, arid-conditions and ultraviolet protection.  Each bloom consists of five to six small yellow florets surrounded by fuzzy white "petals" (technically they are bracts) in a double star formation. In the wild, the flowers bloom between July and September.

Plants sold as L. nivale and L. pamiricum are simply subspecies of L. alpinum.

Cultivation:

Edelweiss is apt to be short-lived in most warmer regions as they dislike heat and humidity, but they are easily raised from seed.  They are hardy from zone 4-7.  While they prefer limestone in the wild, in cultivation, they are not fussy about the soil pH.  They require full sun and well-drained soil.

Blooming Period:

As early as June is southern areas, to September in the north.

Propagation:

Seed or division

Seeds:

Seeds may be sown at 20 C and should germinate in a few weeks.  They do not require a stratification period.

Division:

If grown in cooler regions, edelweiss can form a sizable clump which may be dug in early spring or early fall, and divided into smaller pieces.  In warmer regions plants rarely reach a divisible size before they expire.

Cuttings:

Not applicable.

- See more at: https://www.nargs.org/plant-of-the-month/plant-month-august-2015#sthash.0fKZUIGf.dpuf

Description and General Information:

Leontopodium alpinum, commonly known as edelweiss, is native to the mountains of southeastern and south-central Europe. Its distribution ranges from the Pyrenees to the Alps and eastwards over the peninsula of the Balkans to the central Balkans in Bulgaria, where it is found between 1,500-3,400 m asl.  It is confined to limestone substrates.  The genus name comes from Greek and translates as "lion's paw".  Edelweiss is the national symbol for Austria and Switzerland. This common German name translates to "noble white", a reference to the flowers which were highly cherished in parts of southern Europe.

The plant may reach to 30 cm in cultivation but is often less in the wild.  Plants form a clump of many rosettes. Its narrow leaves, flower stems and especially the flowers, are covered in dense hairs, an adaptation to cold, arid-conditions and ultraviolet protection.  Each bloom consists of five to six small yellow florets surrounded by fuzzy white "petals" (technically they are bracts) in a double star formation. In the wild, the flowers bloom between July and September.

Plants sold as L. nivale and L. pamiricum are simply subspecies of L. alpinum.

Cultivation:

Edelweiss is apt to be short-lived in most warmer regions as they dislike heat and humidity, but they are easily raised from seed.  They are hardy from zone 4-7.  While they prefer limestone in the wild, in cultivation, they are not fussy about the soil pH.  They require full sun and well-drained soil.

Blooming Period:

As early as June is southern areas, to September in the north.

Propagation:

Seed or division

Seeds:

Seeds may be sown at 20 C and should germinate in a few weeks.  They do not require a stratification period.

Division:

If grown in cooler regions, edelweiss can form a sizable clump which may be dug in early spring or early fall, and divided into smaller pieces.  In warmer regions plants rarely reach a divisible size before they expire.

Cuttings:

Not applicable.

- See more at: https://www.nargs.org/plant-of-the-month/plant-month-august-2015#sthash.0fKZUIGf.dpuf

Description and General Information:

Leontopodium alpinum, commonly known as edelweiss, is native to the mountains of southeastern and south-central Europe. Its distribution ranges from the Pyrenees to the Alps and eastwards over the peninsula of the Balkans to the central Balkans in Bulgaria, where it is found between 1,500-3,400 m asl.  It is confined to limestone substrates.  The genus name comes from Greek and translates as "lion's paw".  Edelweiss is the national symbol for Austria and Switzerland. This common German name translates to "noble white", a reference to the flowers which were highly cherished in parts of southern Europe.

The plant may reach to 30 cm in cultivation but is often less in the wild.  Plants form a clump of many rosettes. Its narrow leaves, flower stems and especially the flowers, are covered in dense hairs, an adaptation to cold, arid-conditions and ultraviolet protection.  Each bloom consists of five to six small yellow florets surrounded by fuzzy white "petals" (technically they are bracts) in a double star formation. In the wild, the flowers bloom between July and September.

Plants sold as L. nivale and L. pamiricum are simply subspecies of L. alpinum.

Cultivation:

Edelweiss is apt to be short-lived in most warmer regions as they dislike heat and humidity, but they are easily raised from seed.  They are hardy from zone 4-7.  While they prefer limestone in the wild, in cultivation, they are not fussy about the soil pH.  They require full sun and well-drained soil.

Blooming Period:

As early as June is southern areas, to September in the north.

Propagation:

Seed or division

Seeds:

Seeds may be sown at 20 C and should germinate in a few weeks.  They do not require a stratification period.

Division:

If grown in cooler regions, edelweiss can form a sizable clump which may be dug in early spring or early fall, and divided into smaller pieces.  In warmer regions plants rarely reach a divisible size before they expire.

Cuttings:

Not applicable.

- See more at: https://www.nargs.org/plant-of-the-month/plant-month-august-2015#sthash.cK5bY2rv.dpuf

Description and General Information:

Lithodora diffusa (aka Leptospermum diffusum) is an evergreen, mat-forming species native to southern Europe.  Trailing stems have small, narrow, hairy, deep-green foliage.  Flower stems reach 10-15 cm topped with a cluster of 5-lobed, brilliant azure-blue flowers.  Known cultivars on the market include 'Grace Ward' and 'Heavenly Blue'.

Cultivation:

Lithodora prefers full sun and a well-drained site.  It can tolerate some drought once established.  In warmer regions, plants will tolerate part-shade.  Lithodora prefer lime-free soil making them ideal partners for heaths and heathers.  It is hardy zones 6-8.  It can survive in zone 5 with extra protection but plants are likely to suffer winter-burn.  However, if cut back hard, plants often resprout from the base.

Blooming Period:

In milder areas like the coastal Pacific Northwest, Lithodora can flower all year long.  Typically, spring brings forth the largest display of blooms with sporadic flowering throughout the summer and early fall.

Propagation:

Cuttings and seed

Seeds:

Seeds may be sown in early spring; they do not require a stratification period.

Division:

Rarely practiced as the mat-like habit does not lend itself well to divisions.

Cuttings:

This is the most popular method of propagation.  Softwood cuttings may be taken in mid-summer and will root within a few weeks.  This species also lends itself to root-cuttings.  Sections of larger roots may be cut from the main parent.  If planted with the cut end just above the soil surface, the exposed end will produce new shoots.

Plant Details Page: