H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Lysimachia Clethroides - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Lysimachia Clethroides Described.
Lysimachia Clethroides - Clethra-like Loosestrife; Nat. Ord. Primulaceæ.
This is a tall-growing and distinct species, newly imported from Japan; it is perfectly hardy and herbaceous, and differs very much indeed from its creeping and evergreen relation, the moneywort, or "creeping jenny," being more like a tall speedwell, having large leaves; it is so dissimilar, there can be no likelihood of confounding it with other species. As a decorative garden plant it is both attractive and interesting.
It attains a height of 3ft. in favourable quarters, and has both a wealth of rich foliage and showy one-sided spikes of white flowers; the latter are neatly formed and continue to develop along the spike for the length of a foot; the flowers are ½in. across, somewhat star-shaped, having five, and sometimes six, divisions of the corolla, which are oval and cupped; the short flower stalk is supported by a very narrow bracteole of equal length—this helps not a little to enrich the yet unblossomed part of the spike, the buds of which are of the purest whiteness and pearl-shape, mounted in the claw-like setting of the pale green calyx; these pleasing spikes of flowers and buds have a peculiar habit of bending; the unbloomed part is at right angles with the erect stem, with the exception of the tip, which slightly erects itself; the angle is ever changing, being ruled by the change of flower to seed, the development causing the sharp bend to rise day by day. The leaves of the root are spoon-shaped, and those of the stems broadly lance-shaped, varying in length from 3in. to 5in., entire, veined, of good substance, and having attenuated stalks; the younger leaves have a changeable satiny hue; all the leaves at their junction with the stems are marked with a bright redness; the main stems are furnished with many side branches, which assist in maintaining floriferousness until late autumn. The habit of the plant is dense, and from the numerous spikes of flowers and bright green foliage strong specimens have a commendable appearance; with me, the growth has been remarkably vigorous, exceeding by nearly a foot the usual height; this I attribute to the enrichment of the soil. The bent spikes are scarcely suitable for cutting purposes, but that the plant is deserving of a place in the borders may fairly be inferred from the manner in which it wins admiration when in flower. It enjoys deep loam, which, as before hinted, should be rich; the situation should be such as will afford it protection from the winds—then, if its leaves remain untorn, they will afford a treat from their "autumnal tints." Propagated by root division during late autumn or early spring.
Flowering period, July to September.
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