The monocotyledonous flowering bulbous plant eukomis (Eucomis) is a member of the Asparagus family. In the wild, such a flower can be found in South Africa. "Eukomis" is translated from Greek as "beautiful-haired." This is how this genus was named by Charles Louis Lerilly de Brutelle, and this happened in 1788. 4 types of eukomis are cultivated by gardeners, and in total this genus unites 14 species. The advantage of this plant is that it retains its very high decorative effect even after the end of long flowering.
Features of eukomis
Eukomis is a perennial herb. The bulbs, reaching 80 mm in diameter, are oval in shape. There are also many glossy basal leaf plates, their shape is belt-like or ovoid. The height of the cylindrical peduncles is about 100 centimeters. They grow racemose inflorescences, which are outwardly similar to pineapple, they reach about 0.3 m in length. The flowers are wheel-shaped, they are painted in light green or white with a purple or brownish tint. The flowers include 6 lobes of lanceolate perianths fused at the base, and 6 more fused stamens, which have swinging anthers. At the very top of the flower arrow above the flowers there is a bunch, which includes from 10 to 20 bracts of green color, it is thanks to them that this plant looks like a pineapple. The fruit is a three-ribbed box of a flat-rounded shape, inside there are ovoid or rounded seeds of a dark brown or black color.
Eukomis is an exotic bulbous plant
Planting eukomis in open ground
What time to plant
Eukomis bulbs are planted in open soil in a well-heated ground, after return spring frosts are left behind, as a rule, this time falls on the last days of May or June. If in your region there is a relatively cold and long spring, then in this case it is recommended to germinate the bulbs first in a deep container filled with soil mixture, and they are transplanted to the site in the last days of March or in the first days of April. When planting a bulb for distillation, it should not be buried entirely in the soil mixture; the upper part should rise slightly above its surface.
Such a crop should be grown in a well-lit area that is protected from drafts and strong gusts of wind. The soil should be loose, light, well-drained and saturated with humus. To improve the moisture permeability of the soil, it should be dug up by adding gravel, river coarse sand or broken brick.
During planting, the bulbs, depending on their size, must be buried in the ground by 25–35 mm, while the distance between the bushes should be at least 15 centimeters, and the width between the rows should be from 0.3 to 0.4 meters.
Caring for eukomis in the garden
How to water and feed
Regardless of where the eukomis bulb will be planted (in a pot for germination or in open soil), it should be watered very sparsely at first. But after the beginning of the intensive growth of such a flower, it will need to be watered systematically and abundantly. After the plant is watered or it rains, it is imperative to loosen the surface of the soil near the bush, while pulling out all the weeds. When the plant has faded, watering should be gradually reduced. And after the leaf plates turn yellow, the bush needs to stop watering altogether.
For a long and lush flowering, eukomis should be fed 2 times a month, using a mineral complex fertilizer in liquid form. But it should be borne in mind that the fertilizer should contain a minimum of nitrogen, such an eukomisu element is very harmful.
How to transplant
It is quite easy to grow such a flower in your garden. However, such a plant needs frequent replanting, which should be carried out every year, regardless of where it grows: in the open field or in a container. The fact is that such a culture is not highly frost-resistant. The bulbs will need to be removed from the ground in the autumn and this must be done before the frost begins. Then they are put into storage for the winter, after which they are again planted in the garden in the spring.
Reproduction of eukomis
This plant can be propagated by generative (seed) and vegetative propagation. If you propagate a bush in a vegetative way, then it retains all the varietal characteristics of the mother plant. During the season, a small number of children are formed on the parent bulb. The separation of children is performed when a period of rest is observed in eukomis. Places of cuts or faults should be sprinkled with crushed coal. Both the separated and maternal bulbs are planted in open soil in the spring or the first weeks of the summer.
Only the species eukomis can be propagated by seed. For sowing, freshly harvested seeds are used. They are sown in boxes or pots filled with substrate. The first seedlings should appear after 4-6 weeks. Care for such plants should be exactly the same as for seedlings of any other culture. The first flowering of bushes grown from seeds can be seen only 3 or 4 years after sowing.
Reproduction of such a flower can be done by leaf cuttings. To do this, at the bush, it is necessary to tear off the leaf plate directly at its base, after which the leaf is divided with a sharp object into parts, the length of which should vary from 40 to 60 mm, while the lower or upper part should be marked. Then the segments are buried with their lower part in a soil mixture consisting of peat and sand to a depth of 25 mm. Then the leaf cuttings must be covered with a transparent cap on top and provided with a temperature of about 20 degrees. It is necessary to air the cuttings once every 7 days, for this, removing the shelter for a while. After 2–2.5 months, small bulbs should form along the edges of parts of the leaf plates. They should be carefully torn off and planted in the substrate, where they should grow to the required size.
After the bushes have faded, it is necessary to remove the flower arrows from them, while the leaf plates should remain, since thanks to them the eukomis will receive nutrients until autumn. In the first autumn weeks, yellowing, wilting and dying off of the leaf plates are observed, while the dormant period begins in the bulbs. When growing this crop in regions with relatively warm winters, where the air temperature does not fall below zero degrees, the bulbs, if desired, can not be removed from the ground, but simply before the cold sets in, the surface of the site is covered with a layer of spruce branches or flown foliage. However, in regions with frosty, little snow or unpredictable winter periods, it is recommended to remove the bulbs from the ground in the last days of September, remove soil residues from them and immerse them in Maxim's solution for a while. After they dry out, they must be placed in paper or cloth bags, which are stored in a cool and dry place with good ventilation. If there are not enough bulbs, then they can be stored for storage on the shelf of the refrigerator intended for vegetables, while taking into account that apples cannot be placed next to them. If desired, eukomis can be planted in pots filled with a suitable potting soil. They are stored at room temperature, while it is necessary to water the substrate a little, if necessary, so that it does not dry out.
Eukomis - bulbous plant
Diseases and pests
Most often, eukomis suffers from bulb rot. This happens due to stagnation of liquid in the soil during the growing season, and also improper storage during the dormant period contributes to this. Affected bushes or bulbs must be treated with a solution of a fungicidal preparation, for example: Topaz, Fundazol, Skor or another agent of similar action. To destroy the fungus, in most cases, you will need to process the bushes 2 or 3 times on the foliage, or pickle the bulbs in a solution of a product containing copper.
Most commonly, the plant suffers from mealybugs, aphids, spider mites and whiteflies. Aphids can harm such a crop when grown both outdoors and indoors. All other harmful insects settle only on the bushes grown at home. To exterminate pests, an insecticidal solution is used, while acaricides are used to kill ticks. Insectoacaricides like Aktara or Actellik will help get rid of any of the harmful insects listed above.
Types and varieties of eukomis with photos and names
Only a few types of eukomis are cultivated by gardeners.
Eukomis point, or eukomis crested (Eucomis punctata = Eucomis comosa)
This species came to Europe in 1778. The height of the bush varies from 0.3 to 0.6 m. Grooved flat leaf plates of a linear or lanceolate shape can reach 0.6 m in length and 7 centimeters in width. On the seamy surface there are specks of brown color. The composition of loose racemose inflorescences includes from 40 to 100 green flowers, which are located on pedicels of three centimeters in length. The Strikata variety is of the greatest interest, it was created in 1790: the seamy surface of the leaf plates is lined with longitudinal stripes of red-brown color. There are also varieties that have purple or pink flowers.
Eukomis bicolor (Eucomis bicolor), or eukomis bicolor
A native of this species from South Africa, it appeared in Europe in 1878. Peduncles reach about 50 cm in length, their surface is streaked with strokes of purple color. In the last summer weeks, greenish flowers bloom, while their bracts are framed by a purple border. The fruits are dark red in color. Tubergen bred the Alba variety, whose flowers are greenish-white.
Eukomis autumn (Eucomis autumnalis), or eukomis otumnalis
This species differs from others in that it has a relatively high frost resistance, therefore in the southern regions it is left in the open ground for wintering. The height of the peduncles varies from 0.2 to 0.3 m. The racemose inflorescence consists of white-cream or white flowers. Blooms later than other species.
In addition to the varieties described, gardeners are much less likely to cultivate such as: eukomis Zambesian, Pole Evans, red-stemmed and wavy.
Eukomis in landscape design
Eukomis is a wonderful decoration for any garden plot. Such a flower is widely used as a solo plant, as it has strong peduncles as well as clear structural forms. It can also be used for joint plantings, while groundcover annuals, gerberas, and also coniferous perennials are excellent partners for it. So, eukomis looks great together with geyhera, planted against the background of ground cover plants, for example, lobelia or alissum. In a rocky garden, such a flower also looks amazing, its shiny leaf plates can emphasize the majesty of the stones. This flower crop can be planted almost anywhere and will look great everywhere.
Sparaxis flowers: planting, growing and care in the open field, photos in the garden, varieties
Multi-colored sparaxis flowers bring exoticism to your garden. This plant is native to Africa, it is relatively unpretentious and has high decorative qualities during the flowering period. It can be wonderfully combined with rock garden shrubs, planted in flower beds or in pots on a terrace or balcony. Cultivation of sparaxis - planting and care in the open field, description of varieties, use in the garden are described in our article.
Astilba (Astilbe) is a genus of plants belonging to the Saxifrage family. The genus includes 25 species native to the wild in East Asia (from the Himalayas to Japan) and one species (A. biternata) found in eastern North America in the Appalachian Mountains. Many species, varieties and hybrids are cultivated as ornamental plants.
It is interesting! The English name "False goat's beard" perfectly describes the appearance of the inflorescences of the plant, which are knocked up and consist of thousands of tiny flowers of white, red, pink or lilac.
- Description of the plant. Perennials, forming extensive clusters, reach a height of 1.5 meters.
- Leaves. Green, on long petioles. In dark varieties, the leaves may have a reddish tint, die off before winter. Toothed, feathery, ovate or trilobate. Leaves and stems are covered with brown hairs.
- Flowers. Small, collected in many-flowered (up to 2000 flowers), often dense and complex inflorescences, sometimes spike-shaped. Petals of the crown are sometimes absent or there are 5 of them, then they are reduced, long, narrow.
- Fruit. Polyspermous capsule. The seeds have a loose shell and are spread by the wind.
The colors of the petals of astilba inflorescences are different:
- light pink,
- dark pink,
- fuchsia colors.
Astilbe attracts attention with beautiful, light, fluffy inflorescences, the height of which can reach 50 cm. One peduncle can produce up to 2000 tiny flowers, collected in ears and panicles. Simple inflorescences, slightly overhanging at the ends, are located at the tops of the shoots just above the leaves.
Depending on the species and variety, astilbe flowers bloom from mid-June to late September (Chinese varieties usually bloom in July-August). After flowering, the inflorescences turn brown. The perennial plant produces fruits that look like a multi-colored box with two beaks.
In the garden
Barberries are deciduous shrubs often grown alone in gardens or used to create hedges. Different species and varieties reach heights of 50-200 cm, creating compact shrubs or hedges. The dense crown and tough foliage give the plant a charm. In spring, the bush blooms yellow, forming small flowers with a pleasant, tangible smell.
Thunberg barberry leaves are initially light green, and then change color to dark. In autumn they turn red, orange. The species is also decorative in winter, when the red fruits persist on the branches.
Thunberg barberry grows slowly. If you have patience, you can plant it like a hedge. The bush works well in flower beds, on trellises. Atropurpurea grows well in large containers on balconies and terraces.
Attention! In order for the plant to retain its original shape when grown in a pot, barberry requires regular pruning of shoots, as well as pruning of roots every few years.
The shrub is planted among other plants in flower beds, in rocky gardens, in containers, and is invaluable as a ground cover for slopes (the most popular variety is Green Carpet).
In autumn, the barberry is so decorative that you can forget about the gray short days when you look at it. The variety of colors and shapes decorates the garden wonderfully. Many deciduous varieties change the color of the leaves to red or yellow in the fall, decorating the garden with bright colors. Evergreen varieties look much more spectacular in winter when the gardens are empty. These varieties delight with leathery oblong leaves that turn crimson in autumn.
Photo. Shrub in November, covered with light frost
Photo. Raspberry or golden leaves will add charm to any bouquet.After pruning the shrub, you can use the branches to make vases or weave various decorations.
The shrub is beautifully presented in color compositions, for example, with other berries and conifers.
This plant has thorns. Depending on the variety, they are shorter and less common (for example, in low varieties), but can still protect the site well from intruders. This shrub feature is used for protective hedges. To create such a living wall, you need to pick up strongly growing varieties.
For dense hedges, plant seedlings of various varieties, such as Coronita, Atropurpurea or Superba, in 2 rows, V-shaped, alternately. Pruning and shaping can result in a barbed wall and sympathy for whoever decides to climb through it.
These shrubs are suitable for urban environments, so you can plant them outside in front of your home.
Despite its undeniable decorative qualities, this shrub is not liked by farmers. The reason is that the species is susceptible to stem rust (a disease caused by a fungus that infects cereals, destroying crops). Therefore, the plant is not planted near arable land, and wild plants are destroyed.
In the Middle Ages, berries were used against various ailments - in addition to organic acids, pectins or mineral salts, they contain a lot of vitamin C. Our grandmothers collected barberry fruits, made tinctures, jam for colds and to strengthen the body. They can be eaten raw, used to make liqueurs, juices, and jams.
Barberry juice can be used as a substitute for lemon juice. However, due to their very sour taste and a large number of seeds, the berries are not popular. For household needs, the berries are covered with sugar, stored in a cool place or dried.
Dried berries (they should retain an intense red color) can be added to muesli, porridge, juices, jams, jellies, and wine.
- up to 5% sugar
- saponins (diuretic, expectorant, supporting the secretion of digestive juices, bile)
- 6.5% organic acids (mainly malic, tartaric)
- vitamin C (150 mg)
- vitamin E
The fruits and shoots of the common barberry (Berberis vulgaris) contain about 1% berberidine. This substance, due to its choleretic and slightly antispasmodic properties, can be used for diseases of the liver and bile ducts. Berberine and berbamine are found throughout the plant, compounds with antibacterial properties (berberine also has anti-inflammatory effects). Both compounds affect the secretion of bile.
Attention! Preparations with barberry are not recommended for pregnant women. The berberine and berbamine present in the plant can contribute to hypertension. This condition can cause hypoxia. It is not recommended to give these drugs to young children - they can cause nausea.
Barberry leaves are also useful:
- relieve pain caused by stones in the bile ducts
- increase appetite
- support digestion processes (similar to a decoction of barberry bark), bile secretion
- used for liver diseases
- used to lower the temperature.
Berries and preparations from them are used as an aid in the treatment of colds, flu, digestive disorders, as a vitamin, antipyretic agent.
Barberry is a shrub that is easy to grow and care for. A large selection of varieties will allow every gardener to choose an option for himself: on a flower bed, a shelter of a slope, a rocky garden, a rock garden, a protective fence, or to create a fancy potted composition on the balcony.