H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Nierembergia Rivularis - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Nierembergia Rivularis Described.
Nierembergia Rivularis - Water Nierembergia, or White Cup; Nat. Ord. Solanaceæ.
This alpine plant comes from La Plata; when well grown (and it easily may be) it is a gem—hardy, herbaceous, and perennial. It has a most pleasing habit; from its mass of root-like stems which run very near the surface, it sends up a dense carpet of short-stalked leaves, which in July become studded over with large and chaste white flowers; though it rarely exceeds 4in. in height, it is very attractive.
The flowers are 1½in. across, of a variously tinted white, sometimes with pink and sometimes with purplish-grey inside the corolla. The outside is yellowish-green; the five lobes of the corolla are arranged cup-fashion, having four distinct ribs or nerves and wavy margins, the inner bases being richly tinted with lemon-yellow; what appears at first sight to be the flower-stalk, 2in. to 3in. long, is really a long round tube, very narrow for so large a flower; it is of even thickness all its length. The calyx nearly touches the earth; it is also tubular and five-cleft. The leaves are from less than an inch to 3in. long, somewhat spoon-shaped or sub-spathulate and entire, smooth, and very soft to the touch.
It thrives in a light soil, but it should not be dry. Moisture and a little shade are the chief conditions required by this lovely creeper, and where bare places exist, which are otherwise suitable, nothing more pleasing could well be planted; in dips or the more moist parts of rockwork, it may be grown with capital effect, but the patches should be broad. It also forms a good surfacing subject for leggy plants or shrubs. Lilies not only appear to more advantage when carpeted with the short dense foliage of this creeper, but their roots are kept more cool and moist by it, and there are many similar cases in which it will prove equally useful. It is easily propagated by division of the roots after the leaves have died off, but I have found spring much the better time, just as the new growth is pushing.
Flowering period, July and August.
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