Thursday, January 28, 2016

On a glorious rainy day.

I always think blue flowering plants seem to stand out on a dark cloudy day, and what wonderful rain we are receiving today I only hope the rest of Victoria is getting this lovely soaking rain. It has been so dry, that wet lands we visited on Sunday were bone dry and not a water bird to be seen, but plenty of Kangaroo's and a splendid wedge tail Eagle circling over head.

Gentiana paradoxa (above) from Aaron from AGS seed,  it has not minded the heat but it is not growing in a lot of sun just 2 hours a day and in a cool old cement trough and is quite happy. I quite love the frimbriate part of the flower it looks like some one has come along with scissors and practised their cutting on the corolla, and on G. septemfida as well. You don't realised how intricate the Gentiana flowers are until you take a close up photo of the flower and see how special they are.
Gentiana paradoxa is from the Caucasus growing in limestone rock at 500-2400m, propagation is from seed or division if you are game, this may be ok for Europe where it is cooler but I would be wary in Australia. I know a friend of mine pulls her Gentians apart all the time. I would just rather grow new plants from seed and G.paradoxa is easy from seed.

Gentiana septemfida (above) is from Czech seed and seems quite accommodating in a shady place in the garden that gets morning sun, and ample water on hot days.
It is from Armenia, Caucasus, Iran, Iraq, E Turkey in open meadows, bushy slopes at 800-3400m.

Gentiana makinoi (above) seems to be an easier plant for me also is much larger, trailing to about 30cm. I find Japanese plants do better for me as they will tolerate a lot more heat as it gets to 40c in Japan as well. From Honshu and Shikoku open woods and hills with rocky slopes 1600-3000m. A beautiful blue and relatively easy from seed although you may have to try a few times before it germinates.
Reference books for Gentiana are Josef J. Halda book on Gentiana and The Caucasus and its Flowers by Vojtech Holubec & Pavel Krivka.

Our last blue flowering plant is a Campanula unknown from Joy (above) we think she collected the seed on one of her several trips to Greece. It loves Australian conditions and grows well in the glass house and in the garden, I propagate it from cuttings not all the cuttings survive but always a few do. Of course the original plants were from collected seed.

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