Some of the rockery perennials in this section are so well known that they require little description, but only a knowledgeable gardener will be able to put a name to this dis-tinctive alpine. In bud only the red undersides of the petals can be seen, but when open the flower is a pure white Daisy. Search for it if you like colourful plants – red buds, large white flowers and grey ferny foliage.

VARIETIES: There is just one species – A. depressus. The basic details are height 2 in., spread 1 ft.

Flowering period: June-August. The leaves form a prostrate carpet and the flower stems bear blooms which are 2 in. across. Choose a sheltered spot for this choice plant and dead-head after flowering.

SITE AND SOIL: Requires well-drained sandy soil – full sun is essential.

PROPAGATION: Sow fresh seeds under glass in autumn. Alternatively plant non-flowering cuttings under glass in spring.

In specialist catalogues you will find numerous species of Androsace listed, but you must choose with care. Most of them are too delicate to grow outdoors – only A. sarmentosa chumbyi is fully reliable without protection from the ruins of a British winter. Some produce neat rosettes of leaves and the remainder have a more trailing growth habit, and all bear tiny, Primrose-like blooms.

VARIETIES: Several varieties of A. sarmentosa are available – the one you are most likely to find is chumbyi. It grows only 4 in. high but the spread of the neat rosettes of leaves is up to 2 ft. Between April and June the heads of pink flowers appear. A. lanuginosa will thrive outdoors if given protection from winter rain – it bears white or pink flowers between June and October.

SITE AND SOIL: A well-drained site is essential – add sharp sand before planting. Thrives in sun or light shade.

PROPAGATION: Use rosettesor basal shoots as cuttings – plant in a cold frame in early summer.

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