Northumberland Diary Discussion: 31 January 2013
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New Zealand Celmisias. Entry 234.Go to latest contribution by Dave Toole, 02 March 2013, 09:00. Go to bottom of this page.
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Those really are marvellous plants! I was very lucky to visit Alan Furness' garden after the Edinburgh AGS Conference and was bowled over by all the celmisias (and aciphyllas) that he grows. The finest was probably semicordata stricta with flowers of innumerable narrow ray petals - really beautiful. There were also several fascinating hybrids that had self-sowed in the paths (self-sowing celmisias must be a sign of alpine gardening at a very high level!).
I've always wanted to grow many of the New Zealand flora, but live in the wrong place to really succeed, though am trying again with Celmisia sessiliflora in deep grit on the cool side of a raised bed where the soil never dries out. In the south I have only seen these plants at David Sampson's nursery and over near to Barnstaple in Dr. Smart's garden at Marwood Hill. I wonder if any other AGS members have success with them?
I would also be very interested in anyone growing a related plant, Helipterum albicans from Kosciusko in Australia (more suited to a drier garden like ours). I had this years ago from Jack Drake and remember it as especially beautiful - closer to helichrysum than celmisia.
Must have missed the Edinburgh AGS conference, Tim - I do remember the SRGC/AGS International Conference in 2001 though!
Alan Furness is speaking on growing Celmisia in a Northumberland garden at the SRGC Discussion Weekend in Grantown on Spey in October 2013 - a chance to catch up with his garden.
Oops Maggi! Sorry for the faux pas - not a Freudian slip, honest. What would the AGS be doing in Edinburgh?
As you would expect, celmisias like the cool, damp N. Wales climate and I grow a few rteasonably well. Among my favourites is C. incana which (as the photograph shows) flowers very freely here. Equally good in terms of performance, though not in impact, are C. gracilenta, C. bellidioides and C. angustifolia
Here is another photograph of Celmisia incana, in this case showing the whole plant
Mention of Celmisia bellidioides (which I am also trying) reminds me of Helichrysum bellidioides. I grew this many years ago and it made a fine mat with freely produced everlasting flowers. I've shown a photo in several recent talks and it reminded of what a fine plant it is - in the Plantfinder it seems to have transmuted into Anaphalioides, a genus totally new to me, but it would be nice to grow it again.
Really enjoyed your articles on the 'New Zealanders'.
My experience mirrors yours in that the plants of Celmisia traversii I've seen down here in the deep south are not as attractive as the ones at the other end of the South Island in the Nelson area - with one exception - here's a few shots of the wonderful variation of Celmisia traversii to be seen on a small mountain range in Northern Southland just east of the lakes that border Fiordland National Park .
I collected a little seed of the most desirable rusty brown backed forms and passed it around ---the resulting seedlings are variable - a small number exhibit deep rusty brown, some a lighter colouring ,others show just a band of brown on the leaf edge with the rest having no brown at all - the degree of purple midrib/petiole varies considerably as well.
I understand seed I sent to Scotland has resulted in good germination .
Tim, here on the road cutting of the same mountain is Anaphalioides bellidioides in full bloom just a few metres away from the Celmisias.