There are many types of arabis, or rezuha, but one of the most popular among Russian gardeners, along with Caucasian arabis (Arabis caucasica), became alpine arabis (Arabis alpina).
This is a beautifully and profusely blooming perennial in May-June with beautiful silvery foliage, collected in rosettes pressed to the ground and preserved under the snow. The plant is not tall - only 15–20 cm high. Stem leaves are grayish due to dense tomentose pubescence. The flowers are white, small, collected in small racemose inflorescences.
The leaves are medium-sized, covered with hard hairs, densely located on the stem. They are most often oblong-heart-shaped, painted in a grayish-green color. Basal leaves are more rare, oval in shape.
|Terry form Flore Pleno|
Alpine arabis has numerous thin roots that quickly take root upon contact with the soil. Creeping stems, reaching a length of 30 cm. The plant grows rapidly due to creeping shoots, which has earned its popularity.
Alpine Arabis blooms profusely from April to mid-June with white or pink flowers, collected in inflorescences, 1-2 cm in diameter. Varieties with double flowers are found in purple-pink color. With prolonged spring blooms for a longer period - up to 7-8 weeks.
Especially beautiful are the terry forms of Alpine arabis, which resemble the inflorescences of miniature snow-white levkoi. Arabis flowers are easily recognizable by their unforgettable, delicious honey scent. Moreover, the sunnier the place where Arabis grows, the stronger and more delightful its aroma.
Arabis propagates easily by dividing the bush, cuttings and seeds. You can divide the bush at any time, even after flowering, without digging up the entire plant. The creeping stem, in contact with the ground, from the nodes carrying the bundles of leaves, forms roots. This stem is removed and cut into pieces according to the number of tufts of leaves.
Cut in late May-early June in nurseries or directly into the ground. The cuttings are shaded before rooting.
Seeds can be sown in spring and before winter. Seedlings bloom in the second year.
Growing and care
Alpine Arabis prefers sunny, well-fertilized areas (withstands light partial shade), treated to a depth of at least 20 cm. It is relatively drought-resistant and does not tolerate strong water stagnation. The optimal terrain is dry areas with loose sandy soil. In a sunny place, Arabis blooms more magnificently, but in partial shade the plant grows well.
At a young age, it requires especially careful weed control, since it, growing, completely covers the ground, which makes it impossible to weed.
Arabis does not require specific care, the usual fertilization of the soil with humus, weeding and cutting of the stems after the end of the flowering period is enough. Watering - only in dry weather. At the same time, the decorativeness of the plant remains until autumn.
Use in the garden
Most often, alpine arabis is used to decorate rocky areas, to create decorative spots on the lawn, for low borders and decorate tree trunks.
When using arabis in flower beds, it should be borne in mind that it grows quickly and can displace other plants. Therefore, it is worth combining it with alissum or using it as a background for rose bushes. Arabis looks very impressive in the frame of shrubs and trees.
"Ural gardener", № 29, 2014