Phlomis – ornamental herbaceous plant of the Lamiaceae family. Less commonly, representatives of the genus are found in the form of shrubs and shrubs. The natural distribution areas are Africa, Southern Europe, Central Asia and the Far East.
Helmet-shaped flowers, with a diameter of 2 – 2.5 cm are enclosed in whorled inflorescences, on which they are located in several tiers. The color of the inflorescences is most often golden yellow. Zopnik blooms profusely and for a long time, for which it has long been appreciated by many gardeners.
Species and varieties
The most popular varieties of this plant in ornamental gardening are described below.
Phlomis russeliana. Perennial plant with straight stems, forming a dense dense bush 70 – 100 cm high. All parts of this species are covered with a light pile. Leaf plates are large, heart-shaped, elongated. Inflorescences are pale yellow, reach 3 cm in diameter. Flowering begins at the end of May, lasts until September.
Phlomis pungens. A perennial variety, which is a herbaceous plant with a height of 40 to 90 cm. The leaves are lanceolate, oblong, with large teeth along the edge.
Pay attention to the photo: the inflorescences of the prickly prickly whorled, up to 3 cm in diameter, lilac color scheme:
Flowering lasts from June to July. The species is highly winter hardy.
Phlomis tuberosa. Herbaceous perennial, the height of which can vary from 50 to 150 cm. It has a short rhizome with tuberous thickenings. The stems are straight, with intensive branching in the upper part, slightly fleecy, purple in color. Leaf plates are triangular or heart-shaped, up to 15 cm long, up to 10 cm wide, with serrated edges. From above, the leaves are green, rough, with a sparse short pile, from the underside – an olive shade, smooth, have hairs only along the veins. Inflorescences – whorls, consist of 10 – 12 pink flowers.
Description of cultivars of tuberous sage:
“Paleface” – a bush with straight, slightly branching brown or purple stems. Reaches 150 cm in height. Forms large pale pink flowers.
“Amazon” – a perennial variety that grows up to 150 cm or more. Forms pink-lavender inflorescences. Blooms until frost.
“Bronze Flamingo” – differs in red, almost burgundy tetrahedral stems.
As you can see in the photo, the flowers of this tuberous variety Bronze Flamingo are bright pink and have an unusual shape:
Phlomis russeliana. Reaches 60 cm in height. It has heart-shaped, pointed at the end, soft, yellowish foliage. The flowers are light yellow, enclosed in whorled inflorescences. Flowering occurs in mid-summer, lasts for 4 – 5 weeks. This type of zopnik is one of the most beautiful and frost-resistant.
Phlomis fruticosa. It is a sprawling shrub 60 – 100 cm high. The stems are straight, intensively branching, with a short pile on the surface. Leaf blades of a gray-green hue, oval, narrowed at the top, entire or with sparse teeth, with a wrinkled surface. The lower part of the leaves is gray, with dense pubescence. The flowers are bright yellow, 3 cm in diameter. Flowering begins in May. The plant withstands frosts down to -10 degrees.
Phlomis grandiflora. Spreading semi-shrub up to 130 cm high with branches widely spaced to the sides. Leaf plates are heart-shaped, elongated, gray-green, fleecy, have a strong aroma due to the content of essential oils in them. The flowers are helmet-shaped, yellow, 2 cm in diameter. The flowering of this variety of zopnik begins in the last days of May or early summer. The plant withstands frosts down to -15 degrees.
Zopnik propagated by seeds, division of the bush and cuttings. When sowing seeds, stratification is not required. It is enough to place the seed in open ground and carry out periodic watering. Flowering plants will come 3 years after planting.
Varieties are recommended to be propagated by dividing the bush and cuttings. In the first case, at the beginning of spring, you need to dig out the mother bush, then carefully, using a sharp knife, separate several parts from it. Each division must have roots.
Cuttingsshould be done in the fall after flowering. Parts of stems 7–9 cm long are taken on the cuttings. They are placed in a peat-sand substrate and kept under a film or glass jar until the roots grow. When caring for seedlings, watering is carried out as the soil dries.
This culture in natural conditions prefers open sunny areas, therefore, in the garden, you should choose places where sunlight will constantly fall on it.
The soil should be loose, drained, slightly acidic, moderately saturated with nutrients.
This plant does not tolerate stagnant moisture, therefore, lowlands, places with a close occurrence of groundwater, are categorically not suitable for planting.
Zopnik is a very unpretentious culture that will develop successfully even if the gardener does not pay attention to it. However, the decorative effect and intensity of flowering will depend on the conditions under which the bush grows.
- Watering. Irrigate the bushes will need only in extreme heat. This culture does not require frequent watering and reacts painfully to excess moisture. You need to moisten the soil in the evening and morning hours. It is enough to carry out this work once a week. If precipitation occurs periodically during the summer, there will be no need for irrigation.
- Topdressing. Zopnik actively develops in the soil of medium fertility. 1 – 2 times per season it is recommended to fertilize using any mineral complex for this purpose. This procedure is combined with irrigation.
- Transfer. Perennial specimens that have reached 5 – 6 years need to be transplanted to a new place. To do this, the bushes are dug up, divided into seedlings and transplanted to a selected area in the garden.
- Wintering. Most types of zopnik can successfully tolerate frosts down to -25 degrees. Those varieties that have medium and low winter hardiness should be well prepared for wintering in central Russia. To do this, after flowering, the stems are cut to the ground. With the onset of the first frosts, the areas where zopniki grow are sprinkled with a layer of mulch in the form of dry foliage or straw, covered with spruce branches on top. When growing this plant in regions with a mild climate, there will be no need to prepare for wintering.
- Pruning. Care for this crop will not be complete if the stems are not pruned in a timely manner. Periodically remove shoots that thicken the crown. Also, with the onset of warm spring days, the crown of large specimens is given the correct shape. Such a procedure as pruning allows you to maintain a neat appearance of the bush and prevents the occurrence of some diseases associated with crown thickening.
Application in the garden
This plant is valued for its unpretentiousness and intense flowering throughout the summer months. Due to its numerous advantages, the zopnik has found wide application in ornamental gardening. Basically, this crop is planted in open areas: southern slopes, hills, in rocky gardens.
Tall varieties with rich greenery and beautiful bright inflorescences are an indispensable addition to mixborders. Many species are suitable for growing in group plantings, and are also excellent specimens on lawns.
Zopniks serve to decorate borders, the south side of the house, and create hedges (when it comes to tall specimens).
Often, where zopnik grows, cereals and steppe plants are planted. This culture looks harmonious with asters, large-flowered stakhis, salvia, sage, yarrow, liatris, aneons, catnip. Interesting combinations of this culture with burgundy and purple roses, rudbeckia, echinacea.
After cutting, zopniks are used to make bouquets of dried flowers. Plants are placed to dry in a dry, ventilated room, hanging with inflorescences down. The tuberous variety is used as a spice, which is added to some dishes, giving them a piquant bright taste.