ERINUS Summer Starwort

This little alpine is for cracks and crannies in paving and walls and for planting in the rock garden. It is easy to grow but the plants are rather short-lived. This is not really a problem as self-sown seedlings take over, providing small mounds of tiny green leaves. In spring, clusters of small star-shaped flowers appear on short wiry stalks – a splash of white, pink or red which may last until midsummer or even longer.

VARIETIES: A single species is grown – E. alpinus. The basic details are height 3 in., spread 6 in.

Flowering period: April-August. The flower colour of the species is pink, but you can buy named varieties in different colours, and a blessing is that these named sorts breed true from seed. The two favourites are ‘Albus’ (white) and ‘Dr Hanele’ (crimson). ‘Mrs Charles Boyle’ is a good pink variety.

SITE AND SOIL: Requires well-drained infertile soil – thrives in sun or light shade.

PROPAGATION: Sow seeds in spring where the plants are to flower.

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