H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Mazus Pumilio - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Mazus Pumilio Described.
Mazus Pumilio - Dwarf Mazus; Nat. Ord. Scrophulariaceæ.
This diminutive and pretty plant is a native of Australia, and was introduced into this country in 1823. It is hardy, herbaceous, and perennial; it is, however, sometimes said to be only annual, which may have been inferred from the fact of its perishing in winter in this climate when grown in cold, stiff soil, but that it is perennial is beyond doubt. Not only have I experienced that it dies every winter in clay soil, but also that the roots remain fresh and healthy year after year when in more suitable quarters, such as an open situation in light vegetable soil mixed with sand, where it quickly spreads by underground runners and asserts its perennial character.
Its flowers much resemble the small wild violet of the hedgerows, in size and colour more especially; the flower-stalks are, however, sometimes branched, carrying four or five flowers; and if I may be allowed to make another comparison in order to convey an idea of its form, I would mention Pinguicula vulgaris, the common butterwort. The flowers spring from the midst of flattened tufts of pale green foliage; the leaves are 1in. to 3in. long, spoon-shaped, slightly waved at the edges and occasionally notched, distinctly veined, of a light green colour, and flesh-tinted in the stalks; they are arranged in nearly rosette form up to the period of flowering, when they are not only longer, but become almost erect; but the younger tufts which do not produce flowers remain perfectly flat.
It is useful for rockwork or as a carpet plant where the soil is of a sandy nature. There should be few bare places in our gardens whilst we have such lovely creepers as this to fall back upon. The rooted stems, which run immediately under the surface, may be transplanted any time except during winter. If the roots are mutilated then, they will probably rot.
Flowering period, June to September.
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