Problems with Cultivation and Identification: Linum ?
Started by: David BishopGo to latest contribution by David Bishop, 11 September 2013, 12:03. Go to bottom of this page.
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I grew this from AGS seed which was described as Linum Dolomiticum. That is obviously incorrect, but can anyone tell me what it is please?
I've had no response from this posting, but RHS have now identified this 'linum' as Biscutella sp., probably laevigata.
David - it's not a bad look-a-like to linum, even if in an entirely different and less alpine orientated family! Roy Elliott once wrote a piece on crucifers for the Bulletin, praising them as garden plants, but somehow they get short shrift from many gardeners. I've never grown it and couldn't place it when you first showed it. Degenia velebitica on the other hand would make a wonderful specimen in the sand bed - as choice a plant as any linum.
Hi Tim - I'm still not sure what this is, but, tho' disappointed that I didn't have the linum as I'd hoped, I've been delighted with whatever this is. Its performed well in my sand bed with deliciously beautiful buttercup yellow flowers, lots of seed (tho' I don't feel confident about submitting them to AGS seed exchange given uncertainty about the plant) and at present a tidy mound of bright green leaves. What's not to like! A bit miffed that the Encyclopedia of Alpines dismisses this as ' ... of marginal interest and beauty..'
I think Biscutella laevigata 'suffers' from being extremely common in its natural habitat. In the Dolomites it is everywhere and you very quickly get into 'oh, that's Biscutella....yawn, let's move on and find something more exciting, brash or rare' mode. If it succeeds in the garden the way it does there this quiet beauty may become a hated weed!
I grow Draba norvegica in my rockery only because I 1) got it from my first foray into the SRGC seed exchange quite some years ago, 2) it's native to Scotland and 3)I haven't the heart to weed it all out. It seeds around fairly prolifically, isn't exciting in flower and doesn't form tight cushions. By comparison your Biscutella is a thing of great beauty.
Like all writings the Encyclopaedia entry is only one person's opinion. The only 'rule' is if you like it, grow it.
I'm encouraged by your comments, Martin. Not being of the Villandry school of gardening I'm happy when accidental beauties find their way into my patch and join the other 'weeds' such as verbena bonariensis,, Welsh poppies, eschscholzia lobbii, and of course marigolds and nasturtiums whose ancestors go way back before my time here in my garden. But I'm still on the hunt for Linum dolomiticum!