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Galega Officinalis - Hardy Perennial

Author: John Wood

Galega Officinalis - Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers

Galega Officinalis Described.

Galega Officinalis - Officinal Goat's-rue; Nat. Ord. Leguminosæ.

A grand "old-fashioned" flower. It is about 400 years since this plant was brought from Spain; it is perfectly hardy and herbaceous. Both it and its varieties are among the most useful subjects of the flower garden; they grow to shrub-like bushes, have elegant foliage, and an abundance of bloom, which continues until late autumn. Specimens have a clean and healthy appearance, and though they grow to the height of 4ft., they give no trouble, requiring neither tying nor supports. From their large quantities of flowers they are exceedingly gay; but it is for the handsome stems in a cut state that they should be most prized. These, cut 18in. long, and placed singly in pots or vases, are truly noble, more especially by gaslight.

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Galega Officinalis

As will be inferred from the order to which Galega belongs, the flowers are pea-flower-shaped, about ½in. or more long, and the same broad. They are of a pleasing, but undecided blue colour, arranged in long conical racemes, on stout, round stalks, as long as the leaves, which are pinnate, having a terminal odd one. The leaflets are evenly arranged in pairs, mostly in six pairs; they are each about 2in. long, lance-shaped, mucronate, entire, smooth, and glaucous. The floriferous character of the plant may be inferred from the fact that, after the raceme fades, there pushes from the axil a peduncle, which, in a short time, produces many other racemes.

G. o. alba, a variety of the above, grows 4ft. high, and is an abundant bloomer; flowers superb for cutting purposes. For culture, see G. Persica lilacina.

Flowering period, July to September.

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