darwasicum doesn't photograph very well, but this
particular form is intriguing, with heads of light chartreuse blooms
that are heavily scented, precisely like that of conservatory
gardenias! The alluring scent if most noticeable on warm, sunny
afternoons. This Central Asian species is otherwise like
many of it's ilk; slender stems 16"-20" (40-50 cm) tall,
a few fleshy grayish basal leaves, and knobs of bloom.
Close inspection pays off here, as the peripheral ring of newly
opening flowers has contrasting stamens and pollen of dark
blue-gray, aging to tan-ochre anthers and stamens at the
center of each funnel-shaped floret.
Needs very good drainage. A form from Janis Ruksans with
much whiter flowers (but equally fragrant) persisted for only
one year, and rotted in the 2nd winter, no doubt from too
heavy a soil. All of these Central Asian species seem to
grow admirably in raised sand beds with excellent drainage.
Photos by Mark
(taken May 2002)
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page was last updated on 05/21/02