Cephalaria - a tall perennial for landscape compositions
Among garden plants, there are not many cultures that attract not only honey plants, but also butterflies. The competition of autumn lilacs, budder, can be one large perennial - cephalaria. Despite the status of a very promising culture, so far it is considered a rarity in our gardens. In this article, we will talk about the most interesting types of cephalaria, about their use in landscape design and cultivation features.
- Cephalaria Botanical Description
- Types of cephalaria (capitate)
- The use of headache in landscape design
- Features of growing cephalaria
- Rules for caring for capitate
- Propagation of cephalaria
Cephalaria Botanical Description
The popularization of landscape styles imitating wild natural thickets has led to an increase in the popularity of plants that only very enthusiastic gardeners knew about before. One of those undeservedly deprived of the attention of garden fashion and cultures is cephalaria. This is a flowering, very large, hardy and unpretentious perennial. And all these qualities do not prevent the plant from remaining a wild and untamed candidate for vertical accents in landscape compositions.
Cephalaria, or Cephalaria, are plants that have come to gardens for quite some time. In nature, they are found in southern European countries, the Caucasus and the Crimea. But unlike most typically southern stars, cephalaria is so winter-hardy that it does not require any preparation for winter, even in the middle lane and feels great in a climate that is far from usual. The folk name "capitate" clearly indicates the shape of inflorescences. Often we advertise this plant as a giant yellow scabiosis.
Cephalariums are powerful, in every sense, rhizome herbaceous perennials, preserving decorativeness for decades and not requiring frequent renewal or rejuvenation. Strong, deep-lying rhizomes are striking in size and allow cephalarians not only to survive, but also to bloom in almost any conditions.
Shoots are powerful, but thin, create friable, unevenly dense, bizarrely variable clump bushes, branch well, surprise with a color that exactly repeats the color of greenery, and a hollow structure. The stems of cephalaria are leafless.
The leaves of cephalaria are located in basal rosettes, create a pillow over which flower stalks rise. They are pinnately dissected, large (up to 60 cm in length), rich dark green, create a lush mass, against which single inflorescences sitting on thin peduncles brightly shine.
Small reed and tubular flowers are collected in large heads of inflorescences up to 6 cm in diameter. Externally, the flowering of cephalaria is very similar to scabiosis. All cephalariums bloom in early summer, with favorable weather - in May, surprising power and scope. Throughout the first half of summer, huge bushes attract so many insects that under them it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the actual inflorescences. The aroma of cephalaria is very delicate and delicate.
Cefalaria seeds ripen by the end of summer, they are ribbed and oblong, hidden in large fruit boxes.
Types of cephalaria (capitate)
Despite the fact that the genus cephalaria is large enough, consists of more than 60 species of plants, all of them are strikingly similar in appearance. In decorative gardening, only two types of cephalaria are used, distinguished by the most powerful bushes and the most decorative flowering.
Usually associated with cephalaria. giant cephalaria (Cephalaria gigantea) - a powerful perennial, the height of which reaches an amazing two meters. The leaves are very dark, densely located in the outlet, give the whole plant a wildly neglected appearance. The inflorescences are solitary, reminiscent of scabiosis, seem faded due to a pale yellow color.
Less common cephalaria alpine (Cephalaria alpina) - a more brightly flowering species, in which the flowers are not pale, but with a rich lemon color. The heads are quite large, stand out against the background of dark greenery on sophisticated peduncles. Alpine capitate can also reach a height of two meters in height.
The use of headache in landscape design
Cephalaria are one of the most unusual and powerful perennials. These are large vertical accents and soloists that can change the boring structure of any ensemble and bring animation to the vertical relief of any object.
Cephalaria in the garden looks great:
- as a soloist on lawns or amid clearings from groundcover;
- as a high emphasis in natural planting and massifs;
- as an addition to spectacular shrubs in groups;
- as an emphasis on flower beds or in the background of mixborders;
- as a camouflage plant;
- in protective or hiding landings along walls and fences;
- as an emphasis anywhere where there aren’t enough interesting solutions.
When using cephalaria, it is worth considering the nature of the plant: despite the beauty of flowering, it still always looks untamed, a wild giant that seems to have been transferred from the natural environment, and not as a cultivated plant. Cephalarians are cultures for landscape style landscape design and country style with its unbridled decisions and choice of nostalgic plants.
The capitals are also planted in special flower beds for birds - plantings that attract useful birds. You can plant them both as a honey plant, and as a plant that allows you to fill the garden or its separate area with life, noise, buzzing, they give a chance to watch your favorite insects and butterflies. They are considered special favorites of the peacock eye (butterflies), which during the summer flock in large numbers to the bushes.
Cephalaria can be considered as an original cut culture, since the flowers of the plant stand for a very long time in the cut.
Selection of partners for cephalaria
The capitate is a large perennial that is usually considered as solo plants. But they can be placed in mixed landings. Cephalariums look great next to ornamental shrubs (from spirae to marshmallows) and even to decorative woody (ornamental cherries, derens, conifers).
You can use them in combination with herbaceous perennials with contrasting vertical or classic basket inflorescences and decorative foliage crops. Cephalaria are especially good in the company of giant cereals, for example, Miscanthus, as well as Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Coreopsis, Verbeynikov, tarragon.
Features of growing cephalaria
When planting cephalaria, it is worth considering that this plant is constantly growing and gaining power, becoming more beautiful and larger. Cephalarians are pleasantly surprised by the fact that they attract not only all possible honey-bearing insects and typical pollinators, but also different types of butterflies. Therefore, you need to choose a place for the plant where it can grow freely for decades and where there are no active movements that can frighten off insects.
Cephalariums are photophilous plants that prefer to grow in sunny areas, but they tolerate slight shading very well. To soils, the plant is absolutely undemanding, can develop and bloom both in poor and fertile soil, with almost any reaction and soil composition.
When choosing a place for cephalaria, it is worth remembering that on moist soils or with regular watering, the plant grows at a gigantic pace and reaches enormous size. Therefore, cephalaria, when introduced into complex compositions, flower beds and mixborders are planted in combination with drought-resistant crops.
Rules for caring for capitate
Cephalarians can literally be planted and forgotten. The plant does not need watering, moreover, maintaining a stable soil moisture will lead to very rapid growth (this ability can be used to quickly achieve maximum decorativeness). Even in the midst of summer, in a drought, it is not necessary to water the plant, unless the plant obviously withers, not recovering overnight.
Fertilizers for the headache are usually not carried out, since the plant develops very well in poor soil. If you want to get as powerful bushes as possible, then once a season, in the early spring, for cephalaria, you can fertilize with full mineral fertilizers. The plant gratefully reacts to the introduction of organic matter into the soil or to mulching with organic fertilizers.
Weeding cephalaria will not be needed: not a single weed can withstand competition with it. Only for young plants, weeds are regularly removed and the soil loosened. Cephalaria grows well on mulched soil, which allows to stabilize conditions, refuse any care and create highly decorative compositions. The mulching layer is usually created after fertilizing and loosening the soil in early spring.
Pruning on a plant is carried out only in one case - if you want to limit its distribution. If self-seeding is undesirable, old inflorescences are pruned after withering to prevent ripening and seed scattering. They ripen by the end of August, so it is better not to start the pruning process.
Cephalarians do not need protection for the winter, they easily survive even in the most unstable and severe winters.
You can forget about the control of pests and diseases in the capitate. The plant attracts not only beneficial insects, but also does not suffer from pests.
Propagation of cephalaria
The headworms do not like transplants and partitions, therefore, vegetative methods for their reproduction are not used.
Cephalaria is obtained from seeds. They are sown before winter, right at the place of cultivation.
Seeds are rarely found on sale, but they are easy to harvest at the end of summer.
Seeds are sown for several seeds in one well. Germination of cephalaria seeds is very good.
If you prefer spring sowing, then all winter the seeds will have to be kept at low temperatures. Seedling method for capitatum is not used. Seedlings at first can be easily confused with cucumbers, but already from the second leaf the greens characteristic of the plant appear.
Crops develop very quickly, with the removal of weak and excess plants it is better not to hesitate. Obtained from the seeds of cephalaria bloom from the second year, and their growth rate will overshadow any other perennial.
Due to the rather aggressive tendency to self-seeding, the plant is constantly expanding its borders and provides a good opportunity to transfer numerous shoots to a new place.
Is cephalaria growing in your garden? Tell us in the comments to the article in which garden compositions you use it. What plants is cephalaria adjacent to on your site?