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How to grow Helichrysum

Helichrysum (hel-ee-kry-sum)

From the Greek hellos, the sun, chrysos, gold, referring to the yellow flowers of some species. (Compositae). Everlasting flower, Immortelle flower. A large genus of plants ranging from alpines to shrubs, bearing daisy-like flowers. Some are commonly dried as everlasting flowers. Not all are hardy.

Perennial species cultivated H. arenarium, yellow everlasting 6-12 inches, bright yellow bracts, summer, Europe. H. frigidum, mat-forming, silvery leaves, rather moss-like, white flowers, May and June, suitable for scree or alpine house, Corsica. H. marginatum (syn. H. milfordae), 3 inches, forming hummocks of silvery rosettes, white, spring. H. orientale, 9 inches, yellow, August, southeast Europe. H. plicatum, 1-3/ feet, silvery foliage. small yellow flowers, needs warm position, southeast Europe. Shrubby and sub-shrubby H. angustifolium, 1 foot, yellow, summer, southern Europe. H. bellidoides, mat-forming, white flowers, summer, useful rock garden plant, New Zealand. H. fontanesii, 1 foot, narrow, silvery leaves, yellow flowers in loose sprays, summer, rock garden. H. lanatum, 1 foot, leaves white of a flannel-like texture, yellow flowers, summer, useful for bedding, South Africa. H. petiolatum, 12-15 inches, white, summer. H. rosmarinifolium (syn. Ozothamnus rosmarinifolius), 6-9 feet, branches and leaves sticky, flowers white, small, produced very freely, June, Tasmania; var. purpurescens, 4 feet, purple. H. selago, 9 inches, white, summer, New Zealand. H. splendidum, 2-5 feet, shoots and leaves grey-white, flowers bright yellow, summer, South Africa. H. stoechas, goldilocks, 1-2 feet, leaves silvery-white, flowers yellow in heads to 2 inches across, summer, southern Europe. H. virgineum, 9 inches, cream, summer.

Cultivation Treat the annuals as half-hardy, sowing in gentle heat in March, gradually hardening off and planting out in May. Late sowings can be made out of doors in early May. The rock garden kinds all like dry sunny, spots with sharp drainage, and make good scree plants. The shrubby kinds are rather tender and need wall protection in all except mild localities. Plant in April and fasten the main branches to a trellis or wire support. Prune away unwanted branches early in April. They may be grown as attractive greenhouse shrubs in a gritty compost of sand, peat and loam. Propagation of the perennial species is by division in April or by cuttings in a cold frame in spring, and of the shrubby kinds from cuttings of half-ripened wood in August, inserted round the edges of a pot of sandy soil and put in a cold frame.

 



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