Helichrysum - Everlasting Flower, Immortelle, Strawflower
DESCRIPTION: This is a large group that includes annuals, herbaceous perennials and shrubs. The annuals are the most popular, for their flowers are cut and dried for winter decoration; they are found wild in Australia. They grow 2 to 3 feet high and have oblong or lanceolate leaves up to 5 inches long. Their flowers are 2 to 3 inches across and resemble daisies. The petals are dry and shiny and come in almost every color except blue. They should be cut just before they fully open when they are used for drying. H. arenarium, a hardy perennial, grows about 10 inches high and has oval leaves and bright yellow flowers. H. rosmarinifolium is a shrubby kind native of Australia. It grows 8 feet high, has ribbed branches and narrow leaves, an inch long. The branches and leaves are sticky. The small, white flowers are produced abundantly throughout the summer. H. lanatum is a sub-shrubby kind, which grows about 12 inches high and has small leaves covered with silvery fuzz. H. bellidioides and H. frigidum are great for the rock garden. They have small, white flowers.
POTTING: These plants love the sun and soil that is well drained and moist. H. arenarium needs a sunny spot and rich, loamy soil. H. rosmarinifolium needs sandy soil. Those grown in the rock garden need sunny spots and aren't likely to be hardy, even with protection, north of Philadelphia.
PROPAGATION: The annuals are increased by sowing seeds in pots or flats filled with light soil. This can be accomplished in March, in a greenhouse having a temperature of 50 to 55 degrees. The seedlings are pricked out and placed, 2 inches apart, in boxes; when they are established, they are planted in light, well-drained soil in a sunny position in April or May. Seeds may also be sown outdoors where they are to grow. H. lanatum and H. arenarium are increased by dividing the clumps in the spring.
VARIETIES: H. bracteatum; H. lanatum; H. arenarium; H. rosmarinifolium; H. bellidioides; H. frigidum.
Bright Bikinis Mix Strawflower
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