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Lysimachia - Growing Guide

Lysimachia - Growing Guide


Burncoose offers two different species of Lysimachia with somewhat different characteristics. L. vulgaris is the commonest form of this plant which has readily naturalised itself along hedges, rough ground and beside railway lines. The varieties which we have available are rather less invasive and more attractive in the herbaceous border. As I write this care note in Seaview on the Isle of Wight I am looking out of the window at a developing clump of L. clethroides which is only just producing its flower heads in mid-July.

Lysimachia are perfectly happy in a moist herbaceous border but they are perhaps at their best in a bog garden or on the edges of ponds or streams. The species which we supply are frost hardy.

L. ciliata ‘Firecracker’ is an erect, rhizomatous perennial with ovate hairy purple-brownish leaves. It spreads into a good clump quickly in the border. It produces star-shaped yellow flowers with reddish-brown centres in summer. The overall height of a mature clump can be up to 4ft so plant supports are advisable in very windy areas but, otherwise, probably not necessary.

L. clethroides is also a spreading rhizomatous perennial but its overall height eventually is no more than 3ft. It has hairy leaves which are pointed or lance shaped to ovate in shape. They are green on top and pale green on the undersides. Densely flowered terminal racemes of drooping flower spikes appear in late summer but the flower spikes become erect as they open fully.  C. ciliata originates from N. America but L. clethroides is from China.

Although slugs can cause damage these plants usually grow through the problem. The clumps are best propagated by lifting and division either in spring or in the autumn when dormant. Both species need a good tidy up at the end of the season.

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