Lily Lion Heart

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Matthiola anchoniifolia

There are some beautiful and strange Turkish endemics and Matthiola anchoniifolia is one of them. First thoughts are that they must have fragrance like the familiar annual garden cultivars and rather unexciting flowers. Well indeed they do have a lovely scent BUT are certainly exciting and unique in my opinion. This plant is far under-rated as a trough plant. They are perennial and form tufts of linear crinkly- edged leaves, covered with white tomentum, giving it an aqua-green hue. It flowers in early May and the floral display is understated,but nevertheless very alluring. Four thin petals unfurl like chocolate dusty-pink petifours. The flowers are held close to the stem in a short raceme; and do fade to a pale cocoa colour.  They are long lasting and are set off beautifully against the backdrop of tufa. They are under 15cm with flowers and grow amongst rocks in the mountains of Turkey above 1500m. They enjoy full sun, lean soil and are very much at home in a trough. On bent knees the scent is worth it!

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