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Erigeron Caucasicus - Hardy Perennial

Author: John Wood

Erigeron Caucasicus - Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers

Erigeron Caucasicus Described.

Erigeron Caucasicus - Caucasion Fleabane; Nat. Ord. Compositæ.

Herbaceous and perennial. This species is a somewhat recent introduction compared with some of the same genus which may be called old varieties, from having been introduced as early as 1633, as in the case of E. graveolens. Moreover, the genus is represented by such British species as E. acris, E. alpinus, and E. uniflorus. The variety now under notice is, as its specific name implies, a native of the Caucasus, first brought into this country about sixty years ago. It is a pleasing subject when in flower, and is certainly worth growing.

Its daisy-shaped flowers are less than an inch across, and when fully matured of a rosy purple colour; but, perhaps, the most interesting and attractive features about this plant are the various forms and colours of its flowers at their different stages of development; just before opening, the buds are like miniature birds' nests formed of white horsehairs, all arranged in the same way, i.e., round the bud, but the points are turned into the centre—these are the unexpanded florets; the next stage of development may be seen in buds, say, two days older, when a few of the florets have sprung from the nest form, and have the appearance of mauve-coloured spiders' legs laid over the bud; gradually they (being dense and numerous) expand in a similar manner, outgrowing their angularity, and at the same time deepening in colour, until at length we see the rosy-purple, daisy-shaped, and feathery flower with a yellowish centre. These pleasing flowers are borne in loose masses on stems nearly 2ft. high, and remain in bloom all the summer through.


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Erigeron Caucasicus

About the middle of August a large plant was divided, and the flowers were then cut away. The young stock so propagated were in flower in the following June. I may here appropriately name an experiment I tried on this species two years ago. It was sent to me as the dwarf Aster dumosus, which it much resembles in the leaves, these being spoon-shaped from the roots, the others tongue-shaped and stem-clasping, but rougher and lighter green. I also saw it was not woody enough in the stem for the Michaelmas daisy. It was then near flowering, and the winter was just upon us, so, in order to get the flowers out, I covered it with a bell glass, slightly tilted. It flowered, and continued to flower throughout the winter with such shelter, and doubtless many of our fine late-blooming perennials, by such simple contrivances, might have their flowers protected or produced at a much later date than otherwise.

Flowering period, June to October.

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