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Helichrysum cooperii

Helichrysum cooperii

Regular price €4,80
Regular price Sale price €4,80
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Helichrysum cooperi, a biennial aromatic herb grows in grassland, often near or on forest margins in South Africa. The plant's most attractive feature are its bright golden yellow flowers. Helichrysum cooperi is a fast-growing biennial herb up to 1.5 m high. In young plants the leaves are crowded in an almost whorl-like arrangement but as the plants grow older the alternate leaf arrangement becomes apparent. The leaves are simple, oblong, net-veined and have an entire margin. They are light green and sticky with a covering of tiny hairs. The bottom leaves become dry when the plants grow older. The fresh leaves produce an aromatic smell when crushed between the fingers. Plants start to flower from early January until late March and produce many bright golden yellow flowerheads arranged in a large spreading leafy inflorescence. The flowerheads are shallowly cup-shaped and contain about 1000 tiny florets. When mature the flower heads close and become dry. They produce many very fine 'seeds' (fruits) about 1 mm long containing a single seed. At their top the 'seeds' have a tuft of fine bristles. The flowers of Helichrysum cooperi attract many small insects like bees, flies and beetles which pollinate them when moving from one to the other. Seed dispersal is by water or wind. The leaves may hold the seed (fruit) with their sticky surface thus preventing them from being blown away by the wind. Helichrysum cooperi is used as a love charm by the Zulus. The dry leaves are mixed into an ointment which is applied all over the body after the bath. As a result the desired lady finds the man irresistable. From a horticultural point of view Helichrysum cooperi is a good fill-in plant with its bright golden yellow flowerheads which may be produced for more than three months. The seeds may be sown fresh or may be stored to be sown in summer time. Mix 50% sand or silica sand with 50% seedlings mixture. The sand ensures good drainage. The seeds can be mixed with the soil cover or can be sown first and then covered with very fine soil. The container needs to be watered by standing it in water to just below the rim or it may be placed under mist irrigation; but avoid too much moisture. The seeds will germinate within about three weeks. After two weeks of hardening-off the plants may be transplanted into 2 litre bags. Pinch the top to get a bushy plant. The plants may be planted in the display bed 30 cm apart to produce a dense display. They thrive in full sun and must be kept moist at all times.

Price is for 5 seeds

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