Mark Griffiths Inspiring Plants

Androsace sarmentosa – I think that is what it is. Probably best in a trough but I had to rescue it as it wasn't looking happy and it has now spent some time in a frame.

 

Androsace lanuginosa – this is the only species I've successfully grown in the rock garden. Flowering mid summer it has the Androsace habit of having a yellow ring around the eye that turns red. I think the explanation is it is a signal to bees – yellow eyes are unfertilized, red (which bees see less well) means the flower is fertilized.

Androsace pubescens – this is one of the classic European cushion types. This, cyclindrica, hirtella and possibly helvetica tend to hybridize so I'm always a bit suspicious of anything that isn't already labelled as a hybrid or from an impeccable source. I got this one only recently, although I grew a different looking plant decades ago.

Androsace leavigata – I remember when this was called Douglasia. along with the other pink American species. I find it a bit like A. ciliata in it's looseness but recently I've had some more compact plants. I'm now trying it in a frame. 

 

Androsace ciliata – this species has disappointed me from the time I first got one nearly 40 years ago. It always seems to draw and become loose. The flowers are usually a fairly wishy washy pink. It then usually succumbs to aphids at some point. But still after a while without it I develop and hankering for it, sow the seed and get disappointed all over again.

 

Androsace - a big genus including annuals and perennials.  The ones of most interest are the mat or cushion forming species of which there are a huge number, especially if you include all the A. villosa types.  As with many plants I grew a number of the cushion types  in the past but they succumbed sooner or later. Noting that they seem to do better in the north of the UK I concluded they don't like the heat of the greenhouse and the mild winters which means I have to water them and try and tread the line between rotting off and desiccation. I'm now trying again with a few which in the summer go out into the frames and in the winter either take their chances in a frame or cloche or I keep in the greenhouse.


Generally they are reasonably easy from seed but in recent years I have found germination more difficult. That may be because they are not getting cold enough or as the seed distribution has moved to Nov/Dec rather than Feb they are rotting in the mild weather.


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Androsace sempervivoides – I can't remember where this came from. I grew it for a while in a trough and then it suddenly died. I'm still not sure if the rotting off is actually true rot or the action of vine weevil.