H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Statice Profusa - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Statice Profusa Described.
Statice Profusa - Profuse Sea-lavender; Nat. Ord. Plumbaginaceæ.
A hybrid hardy form, not to be confounded with the hairy-leaved and tender kind commonly grown under glass, which has the same name. All the Sea-lavenders are profuse blooming, but the one now under notice is more especially so, as may be seen by the illustration. The seed of this genus is prolific in varieties, and, although the name of this variety, or even the plant, may not be generally known, and the parentage, perhaps, untraceable, it appeared to such advantage, when grown by the side of such species as S. bellidifolia, S. echioides, S. gmelina, S. incana, S. latifolia, S. sereptana, S. speciosa, S. tatarica, S. tormentilla, S. virgata, and S. Wildenovi, that I considered it worth a short description, more especially as the object of this book is to speak of subjects with telling flowers or attractive forms. It is well known that the Statices have insignificant blossoms, taken individually, though, from their great profusion, they have a singular beauty. The variety now under notice, at the height of 2ft., developed a well branched panicle about the latter end of August; gradually the minute flowers expanded, when, in the middle of September, they became extremely fine, the smaller stems being as fine as horsehair, evenly disposed, and rigid; the head being globular, and supported by a single stem.
The flowers are of a lively lilac, having a brownish or snuff-coloured spiked calyx, the effect being far prettier than the description would lead one to imagine. The leaves are radical, 6in. to 8in. long, oval, or somewhat spathulate, waved, leathery, shining and dark green, the outer ones prostrate, the whole being arranged in lax rosette form.
The flowers are very durable, either cut or in the growing state; they may be used to advantage with dried grasses, ferns, and "everlastings;" or the whole head, when cut, is a good substitute for gold-paper clippings in an unused fire grate; our people have so used one for two years, and it has still a fresh appearance. It needs no words of mine to explain that such a plant as is represented by the illustration will prove highly decorative in any part of the flower garden. There is nothing special about the culture of the genus. All the Sea-lavenders do well in sandy loam, enriched with stable manure. Some sorts, the present one included, are not very readily propagated, as the crowns are not on separate pieces of root, but often crowded on a woody caudex. I have, however, sometimes split the long root with a sharp knife, and made good plants; this should only be done in spring, when growth can start at once.
Flowering period, August to frosts.
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