Androsace rock jasmine

Height: 2.5-10cm (1-4in)

Planting: distance 10-60cm (4-24in)

Features: flowers spring to summer

Soil: ordinary, well-drained

Site: sun

Type: evergreen rock plant

Rock jasmine is a dainty, evergreen rock plant with rosettes of leaves forming a mat or pincushion. The small, primrose-like flowers are pale pink, rose-pink or white and are held singly or in clusters. It flowers from late spring to mid summer.

Popular species and varieties:

Androsace cornea has white or pale pink, yellow-eyed flowers in early summer. The plant reaches 7.5cm (3in) high and the mat of rosettes up to 23cm (9in) across. Androsace samtentosa, up to 10cm (4in) high and 60cm (2ft) wide, forms a loose mat of foliage. The rose-pink flowers last from mid spring to early summer. The variety ‘Chumbyi’ is more compact than the species. Androsace vandellii (syn. A. imhricata) forms a hummock 2.5cm (Iin) high and 10cm (4in) across. White flowers with yellow eyes appear in late spring. It needs a thick layer of grit under its cushion, or the protection of an alpine house.

Cultivation

Plant in early to mid spring in a sunny position in very well-drained soil. It dis-likes winter wet.

Propagation: Sow seeds in mid or late winter and leave outside for a fortnight before germinating in a cold frame or on a windowsill at 7°C (45°F). if the seeds do not germinate the first spring, cover the compost with fine grit and keep until the next year. Pot up when four leaves show.

Alternatively, take cuttings of single rosettes of leaves in early summer and place in a cold frame. Plant out in mid spring.

Pests and diseases: Root mealy hugs and root aphids can check growth.

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