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Saxifraga (Megasea) Ligulata - Hardy Perennial

Author: John Wood

Saxifraga (Megasea) Ligulata - Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers

Saxifraga (Megasea) Ligulata Described.

Saxifraga (Megasea) Ligulata - Nat. Ord. Saxifragaceæ.

One of the large-leaved species compared with others of the Megasea section, its leaves are strap-like, as implied by the specific name. It is sometimes called Megasea ciliata, but there is a large-leaved species, commonly called S. ciliata, which is very distinct from this one, and it is all the more important that they should not be confounded with each other, as S. ciliata is not very hardy, whilst this is perfectly so, being also one of our finest herbaceous perennials. It comes to us from Nepaul, and has not long been cultivated in this country.

Its flowers are produced numerously on bold stout stems 10in. high. Sometimes the flower-stem is branched. The pale but clear rosy flowers are not only showy, but very enduring, lasting several weeks. The leaves are six to ten inches long, of irregular form, but handsomely ribbed and wavy; the new growths are bright yellowish-green, and tinted from the edges with a reddish bronze, so that, during spring, besides being finely in flower, it is otherwise a pleasing plant to look upon. Moreover, it is one of the few bold kinds of plants which flower so early and therefore a most valuable subject for the spring flower-beds.

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Saxifraga (Megasea) Ligulata

It looks well in any position, either near or back from the walks, in shrubs, or as a centre specimen for beds; it is also a plant that may be moved easily, as it carries plenty of root and earth, consequently it may be used in such designs as necessitate frequent transplantings. It is not particular as to soil or position, but in light earth, well enriched with stable manure, I have found it to thrive, so as to be equal to many of the so-called "fine foliage" plants during summer; therefore, I should say, give it rich food. To propagate it, a strong specimen with branched crowns should be selected. These branches or stems are ½in. to 1in. thick. They should be cut off with as much length as possible; if they have a bit of root, all the better; if not, it does not much matter. Let the cut end dry for a little time, take off half, or even the whole, of the largest leaves, or the action of the wind will prevent their remaining firm. When so prepared, the cuttings may be deeply planted in sandy loam, which has previously been deeply stirred. This may be done as soon as the flowers are past, and by the end of the year the cuttings should be well rooted and suitable for moving into the ornamental part of the garden.

Flowering period, March to May.

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