Australia is the birthplace of 22 botanical species used in floriculture. Among them is the dried flower Helichrizum (immortelle), which is known even to beginners. Florists call him an immortal, which in French means "immortal."
Helichrisum belongs to the Compositae or Aster family (Asteraceae). All plants of this group of inflorescences are baskets. The botanical reference book is covered with the name Cimmin.
Solariums bloom continuously - from mid-summer to frost. At the end of the season, seeds form in the baskets. The fruit is a small achene, supplied with a tuft like that of a dandelion and able to fly under the action of the wind. The gram contains 1500 pieces. Germination lasts no more than 3 years.
Among immortelles there are species with different lifespans. Perennial in our climate are grown as annuals.
The most popular type of tsmina is large or bract. It is a perennial, but gardeners grow it as a letnik. The plant can be dug out in the fall with a lump of earth, transplanted into a pot and stored in the room. In the spring, the overgrown bush is divided and planted again in a flower bed.
- leaves are arranged alternately, sometimes oppositely, edges without cuts,
- baskets with one or two rows of stipules,
- extreme pistillate flowers, central staminate,
- inflorescences grow on the tops of the shoots, one by one or several,
- rhizome horizontally extends near the soil surface.
The main feature of helihrizum - dry, brightly colored, arranged in several rows wrapping leaves on the inflorescence. After flowering, they can arch out or remain in the closed state.
Helichrizum flowers in the photo:
Medical properties of immortelle and application in traditional medicine
One type of helihrizum Italicum - Angustifolia Tall Curry (Tall Curry angustifolia) - Italian immortelle has a strong spicy smell, which is why it is called a curry plant. Oil obtained from its colors by steam distillation is used for medical purposes. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and astringent effects, soothes itching, promotes healing of cracks and burns. It is added to perfume compositions to impart a spicy flavor. Dried leaves of this species are used as a spice.
Although Italicum is called a curry plant, it has nothing to do with real curry and is not added to Indian dishes. Its resinous, bitter aroma resembles rather a wormwood. In the Mediterranean (in the homeland of the species), young leaves and shoots of Italicum are stewed together with vegetables, meat or fish.
Cmin sandy has medicinal properties. It is harvested at the beginning of flowering, when the side baskets have not yet dissolved. Raw materials are dried at a temperature of 40 degrees.
In folk medicine, the plant is used in the treatment of diseases of the liver, pancreas, intestines and other organs of the digestive tract. It is impossible to use preparations of tsmina to people with bile stasis in the liver. The plant is able to increase pressure, so hypertensive patients can not be treated for more than 3 months in a row.
Medical properties of immortelle:
Varieties and varieties
Of the 30 types of helihrizum that are cultivated, the following are the most popular:
- Helichrizum bract. This is a plant with a straight stem, about 80 cm tall and narrow leaves. It blooms with small flowers, tubular and reed, which are combined in a head covered with multi-row scales. It is characterized by a long flowering - from July to the first frost. Color depending on the variety of different. The most interesting are the varieties "Feuerball" (with red-brown flowers), "Violet" (dark red with a purple hue), "White" (white), "Yellow" (yellow) and others.
- Helihrizum coral. Groundcover variety with stems up to 25 cm. The leaves and flowers are very small. It blooms yellow. Can tolerate low temperatures.
- Helihrizum is margaritkovidny. Ground-cover plant growing to 8 cm, with small leaves and white inflorescences, very similar to chamomile.
- Helichrizum albicans. Tall variety with stems up to 1.5 m in length. The leaves are large - up to 10 cm in length and up to 9 cm in width. The inflorescences are yellow in the center, surrounded by white or yellow bracts.
- Helichrizum Italian. It has medium sized stems - up to 60 cm in height. Its leaves have a strong odor, vaguely reminiscent of curry seasoning. It blooms yellow. This variety is used in medicine, perfumery and even cooking.
- Helichrizum Arenarium, or immortelle sandy. Plant with a simple and straight stem 30-40 cm tall. The leaves are small, about 2-6 cm. Blooms buds in the form of spherical baskets with a diameter of 4-6 mm. Each inflorescence consists of 10-30 tubular yellow or orange flowers. Used for decorative purposes, in medicine and as an insecticide.
- Helihrizum mifovidovy. Beautiful undersized plant, forming a solid carpet. The flowers consist of tongue petals, pink on the outside and white on the inside. It is characterized by long flowering - from late spring to mid-autumn.
Place and light
The immortelle is light-requiring. The area where he will comfortably grow should be well open to the sun's rays. However, it is not scary if a light shadow falls on it. Drought flower is not terrible.
The immortelle prefers fertile and light soil. Although it can grow in poorer soil, but not heavy clay. Optimal soils: black soil, loam, sandy loam. The main condition is the presence of good drainage, since the plant does not tolerate stagnant moisture. The soil should be neutral in acidity.
Seed preparation for this plant is not needed. Direct sowing is desirable to use only for ground cover varieties, since, as a rule, they are the most cold-resistant. Seeds are immediately sown on the selected site in the first 7-10 days of May. After the seedlings grow enough and become strong, they are thinned out so that the intervals between the stems are not less than 15 cm.
Seedlings are sown on seedlings at the end of March - at the beginning of April. Landing ground should be light. It can be prepared independently from one part of sand and one part of peat. You can also purchase a special seedling substrate at a flower shop.
Plants are planted, leaving 4 cm gaps between them. After planting, the ground is sprayed with water from a spray bottle. A container with planted seeds covered with glass or plastic wrap and put in a temperature of + 25-28 ° C. Shoots should be expected after about 10 days. Landings need to be watered and ventilated periodically. It is important to prevent the substrate from drying out.
After the shoots have risen, in two weeks they should be strong enough and tall. It is time to pick into separate containers. As a rule, at this time the root system of young plants is already very strong, so it easily takes root in new conditions. The most important thing is timely watering. Dropped out seedlings for further growth can (but not necessarily) be placed in a greenhouse.
When planting helihrizum in open soil when grown from seed by seedling, will depend on the region of growth. This usually occurs in mid-May. However, you can also plant immortelle at the beginning of the month and at the end. The main thing is not to have frosts. The gaps between the bushes should be at least 25 cm. It is advisable to add some peat to the planting wells. If you grow cumin with seedlings, then flowering should be expected in the middle of summer.
Care for helihdrum
Caring for immortelle is minimal. You can even do without it. However, it goes without saying that if you follow the plant, it will look better and blossom more abundantly and brighter.
Watering for immortelle recommended medium - the abundance of moisture, he does not accept. In hot weather, it is advisable to do this more often - it is better daily in small portions.
During the growing season, the plant will need to be fertilized once every two weeks. For feeding you can use any complex mineral or organic fertilizers. If possible, you can feed with water extract mullein.
Tall varieties will need to pinch. The procedure is carried out on the central shoot over its fifth or sixth leaf. Ground cover species do not need pinching.
An important condition for the care of helihrizum is timely cutting of faded blossoms and dry stems. Periodic weeding and loosening of the soil are also desirable.
Greater care will require perennials. In addition to all the above procedures, they will also need a shelter for the winter (sawdust, lapnik, peat, dry foliage), since they are generally less cold-resistant than annuals. Usually they are dug up before winter, transplanted into pots and put into a room. Spring return to its original place. They need to water and feed more often. But they do not require pinching.
Other breeding methods
Perennial crops are propagated by vegetative means - dividing the bush and grafting. The division produced in the spring. Shrub should be dug and divided into parts with a sharp knife. The place where the knife remains is to be treated with charcoal, which will dry it well and will not let rot and infection develop. Directly after the separation, the bushes are planted in a permanent place. They are watered and loosened daily before they adapt well to the soil.
Cutting is also suitable for shrub forms. The procedure is carried out in summer (end of July - beginning of August). Carefully cut cuttings of 10 cm in length are planted in a previously prepared substrate of two parts of sand, one part of the ground and one part of peat. Landings require regular watering. After the appearance of the roots of young plants are transplanted in pots or in open ground.
Solar caps are beautiful and unpretentious plants that can decorate any flower bed, garden, summer cottage. Low-growing varieties also do an excellent job with the task of hiding the errors of the relief. Having planted such plants, you can always admire their long flowering, and after it is over, place a beautiful bouquet of dried flowers in the house and continue to enjoy the riot of colors in the winter.