H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Cyananthus Lobatus - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Cyananthus Lobatus Described.
Cyananthus Lobatus - Nat. Ord. Polemonaceæ.
A small plant with a large flower, a veritable gem; no collection of choice alpines can be complete without this species. A native of Chinese Tartary, brought to this country in 1844, where it proves perfectly hardy in the most exposed parts of the open garden; it is herbaceous and perennial; its large and brilliant flowers are very beautiful, but all its other parts are small, as may be seen in the illustration. It is seldom met with except in collections of rare plants, but there is no reason why it should not be more commonly grown, as its requirements are now well understood. It is not a showy subject, but, when examined, it proves of exquisite beauty.
The flowers are of a bright purple-blue colour, over an inch across, the petals being of good substance, tongue-shaped, and falling backwards, when the china-like whiteness about the top of the tube becomes more exposed; the calyx is very large, nearly egg-shaped, having five finely-pointed and deeply-cut segments; the bulky-looking part, which has an inflated appearance, is neatly set on a slender stem, and densely furnished with short black hairs of even length; this dusky coat has a changeable effect, and adds not only to the character, but also to the beauty of the flower. The small attenuated leaves are alternate and laxly arranged on the flower stems, which are 6in. to 12in. long, round, and nearly red. Each leaf is less than 1in. long, distinctly lobed with five or more lobes, and all the edges are turned back, causing the foliage to appear thick and well finished; the foliage of the stems not bearing flowers is more closely set. The habit of the plant is procumbent; stems contorted, and producing solitary flowers.
It should be grown on rockwork, where its stems can nestle between the stones and its roots find plenty of moisture, as in a dip or hollowed part; the long and fleshy roots love to run in damp leaf mould and sand. The position should be open and sunny, in order to have flowers. Cuttings may be taken during summer, and struck in sandy peat kept moist, or strong roots may be divided. The latter method is the less desirable, not only because of jeopardising the parent stock but also because strong roots show to greater advantage when not separated.
Flowering period, September and October.
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