EVERLASTING ANNUALS

There are a number of everlasting flowers that can be grown as hardy annuals, though none of them succeeds from autumn sowings out of doors. The three most popular are:

HELICHRYSUM Can be had in white, yellow, pink, crimson and bronze; it grows to a height of 600 mm (2 ft) as a rule, and flowers from July to September. The plants need to be thinned out to 450 mm (9 in) apart. In the south it is possible to sow this annual at the beginning of October under cloches.

RHODANTHE Is a very pleasing little plant similar in habit and growth to Helichrysum but smaller – never more than 300 mm (1 ft) tall, and the colour of the flowers is either pink or white. When sown out of doors early in April it blooms in June and July. It needs about 150 mm (6 in) of room only.

ST AT ICE The Sea Lavender, can be had in white, yellow, blue and mauve. It grows about 375 mm (15 in) high, and is in flower in July, August and September according to variety. The seed may be sown under glass in February or early in March, the plants being put out of doors during May. The most popular types are S. sinuata, which can be had in blue, white or rose; S. sinuata suworowi has a shorter flowering period and sells well in June. It is usually sown under glass in March and planted out late in April or early in May, and S. latijolia which grows 600 mm (2 ft) high and is usually planted in well-drained soil in March or April. It is generally propagated by lifting and dividing old plants in the spring. The statice or sea lavender seems to like light soil, well drained, and has no objection to slight applications of salt.

ACROL1NIUM Properly called Helipterum from the words Helios and pteron, a feather. Among the most graceful of the everlasting annuals; seeds are often sown under glass in March and the seedlings transplanted early in May. The acrolinium grows to a height of about 450 mm (1|- ft) and bears single rose-pink flowers about 35 mm (1J,- in) in diameter. The flowers close up in dull weather but the double varieties are less inclined to do so and in consequence are generally more decorative. There is a white form also. There is a new strain of double flowered varieties, of many pleasing shades, bearing from carmine-rose to creamy yellow flowers. The seed is usually sold under the name of Acrolinium grandiflorum.

GOMPHRENA Bears attractive bell-shaped flowers on stems about 450 mm (18 in) high. Seeds are usually sown under cloches or in frames in March and the seedlings transplanted towards the end of April. There are various coloured forms including whites, pinks and purples. May be sown out of doors about the end of April in the usual way.

XERANTHEMVM Grows about 600 mm (2 ft) high and bears numerous purple tapering everlasting flowers about 50 mm (2 in) in diameter. Can be had as a full double rose colour, a double purple, a double white, as well as a semi-double purple and semi-double white. WAITZIA A very unusual everlasting which is now seldom grown. It is a half-hardy, the flowers being borne in terminal clusters. Seeds are usually sown under glass early in April, the seedlings being transplanted into a sunny position early in June. The flowers are usually borne on stems 450 mm to 600 mm (18 in to 2 ft) high. There are yellows, whites and pinks.

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