Acroclinums, or helipterums, in bouquets and flower beds seem like little pink suns. Such an association is more than appropriate: colorful, with perfectly positioned petals, the flowers-baskets of the plant shine and immediately catch the eye. This annual is as if created in order to decorate the summer and extend it already in the interior.
In autumn and winter, when there are few flowers, various dried flowers come to our aid, from which we can make up long-lasting compositions, bouquets and even paintings.
This is an annual plant native to Australia, with small delicate inflorescences-baskets - white, pink, red, reminiscent of small daisies.
But the bright appearance and excellent qualities of dried flowers are far from the only "trump card" of the acroclinum. This plant is very easy to grow, and the variety of color palette can please the eye.
Acroclinum, or helipterum pink (Helipterumroseum) - plant 40-50 cm high, with a stem strongly branching from the base, graceful, with straight thin branches. Leaves are sessile, small, dull green; inflorescences are single, 3-4 cm in diameter, they sit one by one at the ends of the stems. The outer ligulate flowers consist of membranous scales and are arranged in 3-5 rows around the center. Tubular middle flowers are yellow.
The small leaves and stems of the plant are covered with a thick waxy coating, which makes the plants look silvery. Flowering lasts a very long time - from July to September. Cut flowers on the lateral stems are replaced by new, but smaller ones.
Growing conditions for acroclinum
First of all, care should be taken to ensure that the location is as sunny as possible. This is not a light, but a sun-loving summer that will delight with abundant flowering and resistance to diseases only in open warm areas, illuminated for most of the day.
He prefers places well lit by the sun, sheltered from the wind. The soil should be light, sandy loam, permeable, well fertilized, but without fresh manure. Avoid areas with high humidity and excess lime.
Reproduction of acroclinum
Seeds can be sown directly on the garden bed, but it is better in April in a semi-warm greenhouse. Seedlings dive into boxes, seedlings are planted in the ground at a distance of 20-25 cm.
Acroclinum seedlings appear 10–12 days after sowing the seeds. Bloom in the second half of June. Duration of flowering of an individual inflorescence is 11–12 days. Flowering begins 65-80 days after sowing and continues until frost.
The seeds ripen in September. In a mature state, they do not crumble, but they should be collected immediately as the individual baskets ripen.
Plant care is simple. It consists in periodic weeding and loosening. Top dressing is done every two weeks with a complex mineral fertilizer.
The only mandatory measures for growing acroclinium are loosening the soil and weeding. But even they can be abandoned if you mulch the soil with any materials available to you and create a protective layer.
Cutting the acroclinum
The inflorescences are cut in clear weather with full dissolution (before the seeds appear). Tied in small bunches, they are hung upside down and dried for 3-5 days. If kept longer, the petals will become very brittle. Correctly dried inflorescences do not lose their color for a long time.
Acroclinum is grown mainly to obtain flowers that are perfectly preserved in the winter. They make graceful bouquets and compositions. Flowers are cut for this purpose on the 1st or 2nd day of flowering.
At later dates, the middle of the flower darkens, and it loses its decorative effect. A dry acroclinum bouquet retains its decorative appearance throughout the year.
Acroclinum in garden design
Acroclinum can also be successfully used for landscaping, creating flower beds, rabatki, mixborders from it. Despite the fact that it became famous as a cut-type plant, a wonderful dried flower, it can also become a bright decoration of a summer garden.
It is great for container culture, including stone flower girls and heavy stone outdoor pots in the company of plants with flexible dangling shoots. But the most winning games of this summer are in borders and mixborders.
"Ural gardener", No. 17, 2019