Physoplexis comosa

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Gene Mirro
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-02-25
Physoplexis comosa

A flat of Physoplexis comosa:

Closeup:

I haven't tried them outside yet; worried about slugs.

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

What a beautifully-grown tray of gems there!  When you do plant them out, will they go in troughs or a rock garden?  What conditions do they favour?  (I've only killed them so far.  :P )

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Booker
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Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

A fine example of Physoplexis comosa exhibited at the AGS Southport Show in May this year ... my own large plant is very late this year and is probably still two weeks away from optimum flowering, I will try to remember to post an image when it finally blooms.

Here is a link to my best plant last year ...

http://www.alpinegardensociety.net/competitions/online-show/2010/Campanu...

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus
On the moors in Lancashire, U.K.
Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Cliff - that is such a fascinating plant! The only time I ever grew it well was in a block of tufa but a friend in our group now has a specimen about half the size of yours. Some of its meadow relatives (Phyteuma spp.) are equally intriguing in a strange way. How old is that plant?

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

Booker
Booker's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

Tim wrote:

Cliff - that is such a fascinating plant! The only time I ever grew it well was in a block of tufa but a friend in our group now has a specimen about half the size of yours. Some of its meadow relatives (Phyteuma spp.) are equally intriguing in a strange way. How old is that plant?

Hi Tim,
I cannot be certain, but I think it's at least seven years old.  Labels fade and disappear and I have a jumbled and eclectic mix of plants that perfectly reflects my decaying brain and fading memory.  I now grow at least six physoplexis of varying sizes and ages and they all survive our cool, wet winters outside without any protection.  I give the big plants a chicken mesh 'cap' to protect them from the attentions of the blackbirds, but that is the only mollycoddling that they enjoy.
We have seen some splendid examples in the Dolomites, but rarely do they display more than three or four blooms in the wild.

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus
On the moors in Lancashire, U.K.
Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

Gene Mirro
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-02-25

Cliff, how do you manage them after they bloom?  Do you keep them growing, or dry them off and let them go dormant?  If they are growing outdoors for you, I guess they get water all summer, true?  I lose a few every year, but I don't know why.  I do know that they don't like dry potting mix in winter.

SW Washington state, 600 ft. altitude

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

This plant is so interesting that I don't think it is possible to take an unworthy photo of Physoplexis.  ;D

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Booker
Booker's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

Gene wrote:

Cliff, how do you manage them after they bloom?  Do you keep them growing, or dry them off and let them go dormant?  If they are growing outdoors for you, I guess they get water all summer, true?  I lose a few every year, but I don't know why.  I do know that they don't like dry potting mix in winter.

Hi Gene,
All my plants (even the first year seedlings) stay outside all winter and experience everything that a cool, damp Lancashire winter can throw at them - this can see torrential rain, hard frosts, snow, sun and fog - often in the same week!
After flowering can see spells of hot sun, heavy showers and warm drying winds, the physoplexis experiences all these conditions in the Dolomites and the necessary constants are excellent drainage and a calcareous compost. These plants produce an extensive root system so a deep pot is essential and I use a 12" pan full of a very gritty limestone mix.  I never feed my plants and always let them die back naturally whatever the conditions.  Hope this helps, but I realise just how different our growing conditions must be?

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus
On the moors in Lancashire, U.K.
Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Absolutely beautiful, Cliff!  You must be so pleased to grow them so well!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Schier
Schier's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-02-16

They are stunning - and to have a whole flat of seedlings? Oh boy, I best order some seeds. Or perhaps, try to get one at Hole's Greenhouse in St. Albert, Alberta.... 'Tis true, I don't think there could be  a bad photo of Physoplexis comosa...

Faith S.   Gardening in central Alberta climate, from min. -44 c to max. 36+ C. ( not often! ) Avg. annual precip. ~ 48 cm  Altitude ~ 820 m. Have "frying pan gardens" up around the house, and also some woodland areas down the pa

Gene Mirro
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-02-25

If you want to grow them from seed, check out the Spring 2009 NARGS bulletin.  There is an article in which I tell everything I know about starting them from seed.  It took me many tries to be successful.  I believe it was because I kept getting dead seed.  If anyone wants to try some seed, let me know.  I may have a fresh crop this fall.

SW Washington state, 600 ft. altitude

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