Northumberland Diary Discussion: 23 July 2013
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French Alps 2. Entry 249. Ranunculaceae etc.Go to latest contribution by John Richards, 28 July 2013, 10:09. Go to bottom of this page.
John - you have probably increased the sales of Kit's book quite significantly by some of those images of Pulsatilla alpina! I don't know it at all except from descriptions in books and photographs, and have always thought of it as difficult to cultivate in the garden. The variation though is rather lovely, especially the form with pale-blue-backed flowers. It must be great to see these plants in the wild. Interesting also to see Callianthemum coriandrifolium because I have just put a small plant in a trough, and saw a nice specimen in one of the Czech gardens. Again I hadn't come across many of the other species of the genus, I suppose because unless I have grown them myself they don't properly register in the mind. I also very much enjoyed the gentians from the earlier entry.
Thanks Tim. My only comment is that more than 20 years ago I grew P. alpina from wild collected seed. The viability is short so it is important that seed is sown fresh, or stored in a fridge. I gave away a number of plants, and planted two in a raised scree protected from early sun. One has thrived on neglect here, now growing each year through a mat of Erica carnea, and each year produces about eight flowers which set copious seed. It is a sulphur form with greyish backs, but the flowers are a bit small for the foliage. This may be caused by the conditions in cultivation.