Androsace: Androsace pictures Dec 2011
Started by: Rick Lambert
A cold visit to Pershore gardenGo to latest contribution by Rick Lambert, 19 December 2011, 23:12. Go to bottom of this page.
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On my way home from Bristol last week I traveled via Pershore garden. In my own alpine garden in Northampton I was aware of some very early flowering. I wondered how the plants were at the AGS Garden in Pershore.
No Androsace were in flower and many were firmly in their winter resting phase with the tight rosette protecting the buds. For plants that were in flower (and some surprises) see the main discussion pages.
The temperature was just above freezing, the beginnings of rain and occasional bursts of wintery sunshine. After a spell of photography I retreated inside to help pack up some of the seed requests - it wasn't a lot warmer there!
A. sarmentosa is showing its 'dimorphic' stage with compacted and hairy rosettes that protect the embryo flower buds. The collar of brown leaves usually remain until growth returns in the spring.
Several species show this charachter to a greater or lesser degree. In some of the A. villosa types it is only just noticeable, but at the other extreme is A. spinulifera whose buds elongate in early spring looking like a Cactus or Crassula.
If the centre of the rosettes is green then the plant is still alive! it is easy to think that an Androsace has died when really (like the famous Norwegian Blue Parrot) it is only resting. But look carefully as the green centre can be very small.
In this picture Androsace wardii is just dormant, A. rigida is similar though still not a guarantee that the plant will break dormancy. I sometimes feel that it, at this dormant stage, the plant become to dry the plant will die. Then again too wet and it will also die.