Wooly androsace (Androsace lanuginosa)

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Kelaidis
Kelaidis's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-03
Wooly androsace (Androsace lanuginosa)

I recently scanned some old slides, and this is one of them. The color is all wrong, and somehow over-exposed, but it does convey the size and majesty of Androsace lanuginosa when it is at its full glory. For over a decade back in the 1980's and early 1990's a small hillside in the Rock Alpine Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens was draped with this outrageous carpet of bloom. It's more or less in full sun. The soil was a deep, rich scree: for whatever reason, this plant loved it and spread and bloomed pretty much steadily from May to Autumn frost. Eventually, it used up whatever nutrients, or something changed and it died back bit by bit. I think we still have a few pieces growing here and there, but nothing so lavish and rich.

I have tried getting it to repeat the trick at my home garden--and have some puny clumps (by comparison). There is some major nursery: Monrovia or Hines, that was selling gallon pots brimming with dozens of stems--so someone can grow it well even in pots!

For me one of the great pleasures of rock gardening is finding a spot where a gorgeous alpine does its thing especially well--for a good long time. Now to do it again!

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

WOW! 
(I'm afraid my example of this species falls into the category of a "puny clump", by any comparison.  ;D)

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

Sellars
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-29

We manage to grow Androsace lanuginosa in our climate without too much fuss. It gets very lank and soggy in the winter so I cut it right back and it grows vigorous trailing stems the next year and flowers in the late summer and fall.  It is easy to propagate so I have it in a few different locations. It prefers sun.  Here's a picture.

David Sellars
From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada

Feature your favourite hikes at:
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Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Ah, yes... much nicer than my young plant... which, after calling it "puny" earlier,  I will shamelessly show here anyway.  ;)  The stoloniferous(?) ones seem to do reasonably well here (re. more mature specimens of other species).  I haven't grown any of the more cushion-form species yet.  I like the way the colour of the flower "eye" changes when it's been fertilized.

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

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I have tried several Androsaces but the winter weather is usually too wet! (Not so this year which is the driest and coldest in 100 years. - Who talks about global warming now! 8)
Unfortunately I have not any Androsaces left.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Sellars
Sellars's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-29

Lori:

That's a lovely Androsace, not puny at all.  If you want it to grow bigger you could try some nutrients.  A. lanuginosa seems to like a richer soil than the cushion types.

David Sellars
From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada

Feature your favourite hikes at:
www.mountainflora.ca
MountainFlora videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

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

Ah, a good tip - I'll have to pay attention to individual plant needs much more this summer!

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

Doreen
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-12-05

From memory this is Androsace lanuginosa (lost its label). On a sunny scree it is almost rampant, needing a couple of armfuls removing every other year as it invades its neighbours. Covered in very pale lavender pink flowers, set off by the greyish silky-hairy foliage, the yellow eye turns red after pollination so you get a nice two-tone effect.

Doreen Mear
Middle of South Island, New Zealand, in the rain shadow of the Southern Alps.
Continental climate, rare snow cover,
670 mm rain p.a.

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

What a great garden plant this is! It is very vigorous here too and tolerates our variable weather well. I have various forms of sarmentosa/studiosorum on a sand bed and these do well too but do get winter cover. On a good stony scree they could probably cope with more winter wet.

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.
 

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

Wow, Doreen, your plant is magnificent!  I hope you will show us a lot more of your garden - from the view in your photo, it looks wonderful!

(P.S. I used my forum moderator super powers to merge this thread with the pre-existing Androsace lanuginosa thread.  :) )

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

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

Thanks Lori for that - it's wonderful to see that plant at Denver!

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.
 

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