H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Anthyllis Montana - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Anthyllis Montana Described.
Anthyllis Montana - Mountain Kidney Vetch; Nat. Ord. Leguminosæ.
For rockwork this is one of the most lovely subjects. It is seldom seen, though easy to grow, perfectly hardy, and perennial. It is classed as an herbaceous plant, but it is shrubby, and on old specimens there is more wood than on many dwarf shrubs. It is of a procumbent habit, and only 4in. to 6in. high in this climate. It comes from the South of Europe, where it probably grows larger.
In early spring the woody tips begin to send out the hoary leaves; they are 3in. to 6in. long, and from their dense habit, and the way in which they intersect each other, they present a pleasing and distinct mass of woolly foliage.
The leaves are pinnatifid, leaflets numerous, oval, oblong, and very grey, nearly white, with long silky hairs.
The flowers are of a purple-pink colour, very small, and in close drumstick-like heads. The long and numerous hairs of the involucre and calyx almost cover over the flowers and render them inconspicuous; still, they are a pretty feature of the plant; the bloom stands well above the foliage on very downy, but otherwise naked stalks.
When planted in such a position that it can rest on the edge of or droop over a stone, strong specimens are very effective. It seems to enjoy soil of a vegetable character, with its roots near large stones. I have heard that it has been found difficult to grow, but that I cannot understand. I fear the fault has been in having badly-rooted plants to start with, as cuttings are very slow in making an ample set of roots for safe transplanting. Its increase by division is no easy matter, as the woody stems are all joined in one, and the roots are of a tap character. Seed seldom ripens; by cuttings appears to be the readier mode of propagation; if these are taken off in early spring, put in a shady position, and in leaf soil, they will probably root as the seasons get warmer.
Flowering period, June and July.
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