Limnanthes: poached egg flower

Height 15cm (6in)

Planting distance 15cm (6in)

Flowers late spring to late summer

Ordinary garden soil

Open sunny site

Hardy annual

The common name of Limnanthes douglasii – poached egg flower -aptly describes the colour scheme of its blooms: a large yolk-yellow centre surrounded by white. Bowl-shaped, softly waved and with a delicate fragrance, these blooms are set off to perfection by glossy, pale yellow-green, deeply cut foliage. Bees and other nectar-loving insects find them irresistible. Poached egg flower reaches 15cm (6in) high and spreads quickly. It looks best grown in clumps in rockeries, at the front of borders or along the edges of paths – where the seedlings will swiftly colonize the cracks between paving stones.

Cultivation

Poached egg flowers thrive in ordinary garden soil in open sunny positions though they need a cool root run. Such conditions are usually found along paths or between rocks and paving.

Sow the seeds in the flowering site in early autumn for a late spring floral display, or in early spring for a mid to late summer display. Cover them with just a little soil. Thin to 15cm (6in) apart. Seedlings from an autumn sowing should be protected with cloches during the cold winter months.

The plants usually seed them-selves prolifically, so be ready for more poached egg flowers in successive years. These are unlikely to be as strong and robust as those grown from fresh packets of seeds.

Pests and diseases

Trouble free.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Limnanthes: poached egg flower

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