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Umbilicus Chrysanthus - Hardy Perennial

Author: John Wood

Umbilicus Chrysanthus - Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers

Umbilicus Chrysanthus Described.

Umbilicus Chrysanthus - Nat. Ord. Crassulaceæ.

This is a very pretty and distinct subject, and never fails to flower very late in the year. It is a plant having the appearance of being tender, and is not often seen growing fully exposed in the garden; it is, however, perfectly hardy, enduring any amount of cold; it suffers more from wet. It is also evergreen. Its soft dull or greyish-green rosettes are in marked contrast with the rigid and shining sempervivums, in the company of which it is frequently placed. It is an alpine subject, and comes from the mountains of Asiatic Turkey, being also found more west. Not only is it interesting, but its pretty form and habit are qualities which render it very useful in a garden, more especially for dry parts, such as old walls and rockwork.

It grows 6in. high, the older rosettes elongate and form leafy flower stalks, which are topped by drooping panicles of flowers, somewhat bell shaped; each flower is ¾in. long, of a yellowish white colour; the petals are finely pointed, and well supported by a fleshy calyx; the bloom is slowly developed and very enduring, even when the worst weather prevails. The leaves are arranged in flat rosette form (the rosettes from 1in. to 2in. across), lower leaves spathulate, those near the centre more oval.

All are fleshy, covered with short hairs, and somewhat clammy to the touch. Its habit is neat, and it adorns such situations as otherwise suit it, viz., banks or risen beds, and such other positions as have already been named.

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Umbilicus Chrysanthus

Its culture is easy, but it ought to have the compost it most enjoys—peat and grit—and it should be sheltered from the strong winds, otherwise its top-heavy flower stalks will be laid prostrate. When it once finds a happy home it increases fast; the thick stalks are procumbent and emit roots. These may either be left to form large specimens or be taken off during the growing season for stock. Excessive wet is its greatest enemy. For such subjects, the wire and glass shelters are not only a remedy, but very handy.

Flowering period, summer, until stopped by frosts.

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