ALYSSUM or GOLD DUST

Annual or perennial plants for sunny positions. They prefer a limy soil but tolerate poor ground. The annual forms are excellent for edgings and on light soils self-sown seedlings are frequent. They include several fragrant varieties of Alyssum maritimum (more correctly Lobularia maritima) notably Lilac Queen, Violet Queen, Little Dorrit (white) and Royal Carpet (dark purple). They vary in height from 3—6 in., with a spreading habit. The usual hardy annual treatment is recommended.

Among the perennial types, A. saxatile compactum is golden-yellow flowering in spring and early summer. It grows to about 6 in. and should be cut back hard after flowering. Not very long-lived but easily increased by cuttings 2 or 3 in. long, taken in June.

Alyssums belong to the wallflower family (Crucijerae) and may be attacked by club root , on acid soils.

AMARANTHUS, LOVE-LIES-BLEEDING, JOSEPH’S COAT or PRINCE’S FEATHER. Very showy, half-hardy annuals, preferring warm soils, though otherwise quite easy to grow.

Amaranthus caudatus is the most popular species and is often referred to as Love-lies-bleeding. It bears reddish-purple flowers on long, drooping, red stems, growing to about 2 ½ ft, and may be treated as a hardy annual if sown at the end of May.

A. gangeticus (melancholicus) in its various forms has striking, variegated foliage (red, green and yellow) and makes an effective dot plant in either beds or borders.

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