Ammobium: growing in the open field, planting and care, photo

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Ammobium: growing in the open field, planting and care, photo
Ammobium: growing in the open field, planting and care, photo

Description of the ammobium plant, agricultural technology for planting and growing in a personal plot, how to reproduce, possible difficulties in cultivation, species and varieties.

Ammobium (Ammobium) is a plant attributed by scientists to the numerous Astraceae family, or as it is also called Compositae. The native area of ​​natural growth falls on the Australian continent, namely New South Wales, where the climate is particularly arid. The genus of ammobiums is small and has only three natural species. However, they served to breed interesting varieties that are popular with gardeners.

Family name Astral or Compositae
Growing period Perennial, in our latitudes, one-year
Vegetation form Herbaceous
Breeds Seed by growing seedlings
Open ground transplant terms May-June, when return frosts pass
Landing rules Seedlings are located at a distance of 30-35 cm from each other
Priming Lightweight, loose and gritty
Soil acidity values, pH In the range from 5.5 (slightly acidic) to 6.5 (neutral)
Illumination level Well lit by the sun
Humidity level Moderate
Special care rules Weeding, fertilizing, watering
Height options 0.6-1 m
Flowering period June to October
Type of inflorescences or flowers End inflorescences of a basket
Color of flowers Central (tubular) bright yellow, marginal - white
Fruit type Achene with a tuft
The timing of fruit ripening As the inflorescences are pollinated
Decorative period Summer-autumn
Application in landscape design Rarely in flower gardens and flowerbeds, shaping curbs, growing for cutting as dried flowers
USDA zone 8 and up

Ammobium got its scientific name due to its natural distribution, as it can grow quietly on the sand. Therefore, when combining a pair of words in Greek "ammos" and "bios", which translate as "sand" and "live", respectively, the plant can be referred to as "sand dweller". But folk names refer to long-term decorativeness, which the plant does not lose when dried, therefore it is called "immortelle" or "dried flowers". And it happens that this representative of the flora is called "dahlia chamomile", all because of the similarity of inflorescences with both flowers at the same time: with a dahlia structure, with chamomile colors.

When growing in natural conditions, ammobiums are perennial plants, but due to their thermophilicity in our latitudes, they will not be able to survive winters even with good shelter, therefore they are used as summer cages. Their vegetative form is herbaceous, the stems grow erect and spreading, which makes it possible to form a decorative bush. The height of the stems is usually about 60 cm, but there are specimens that grow up to meter indicators. Their entire surface is covered with small whitish fibers, reminiscent of felt. The color of the stems is green, while the color changes only slightly even when dried.

In the root zone on the stems, a rosette is formed from the leaves. Ammobium foliage is characterized by a dark green tint. These basal leaves have a narrow ovoid shape and a pointed tip. The length of such leaf plates is 4–6 cm and a width of about 10–15 mm. The edge of the leaves is sinuous or obtuse. Both surfaces of these leaves are bare or slightly woolly. The petiole is 7–10 mm long, winged.The leaves growing on the stems are smaller and usually located strongly pressed against the surface of the shoots. Their color is mixed with a grayish color scheme.

From the central part of the leaf rosette, with the arrival of summer, elongated flowering stems begin to grow, having branching at the top. At the ends of the branches, basket inflorescences are formed, characteristic of all representatives of the Compositae family. Ammobium flowers are small, their diameter reaches only 1–2 cm. In the central part of the inflorescence on the flower disk there are small tubular flowers of a bright yellow color, they are surrounded by bracts of a snow-white tone. The last paper petals-wrappers have scaly outlines and are arranged in several rows. The edges of such wrappers are serrated; they are usually longer in length than the flowers in the middle. Bracts are 5–10 mm long.

Flowering, starting with the arrival of summer, can stretch near ammobium until October, until frosts begin. When the inflorescences begin to wither, they turn black and then the plant becomes no less attractive, although rather unusual. The fruit is achene, characterized by elongated outlines and the presence of a medium-sized crest. The achenes are 3–4 mm long; grooves are sometimes formed on their surface. The color of the achenes is dark brown. The seeds in the achene are quite small, so in 1 gram you can count them up to 2500 pieces.

Ammobium is a rather unpretentious plant, but it is clear that it will not be able to compete with roses, lilies or peonies and other beautifully flowering representatives of the flora. However, when grown in the garden, its small inflorescence baskets will delight the eye until the very cold weather, and when cut and dried, they can be used to make bouquets.

Planting ammobium, growing a herb in the open field

Ammobium blooms
  1. Landing place dried flowers should be well lit, therefore, you should choose a flower bed in an open, but protected from drafts place. You should not plant in places where moisture from rains can accumulate, as ammobium can suffer from rot due to waterlogging of the soil. If the soil on the site is too wet, then a high flower bed can be built to grow such a plant.
  2. Soil for ammobium dry but well-drained. The plant grows well on sandy, but moderately nutritious substrates. Can be reconciled with poor loams. You should not plant in too wet and clayey soil, as it will be too wet and can provoke rotting of the root system of the immortelle. In this case, the land can be mixed with coarse-grained river sand and drainage can be used, which can be fine expanded clay, crushed brick or pebbles. The acidity of the soil mixture should be approximately pH 5, 5–6, 5, that is, the soil is preferably slightly acidic or neutral. Before planting in the selected area, the ground must be dug up, loosened and the remnants of the roots of other plants removed.
  3. Planting ammobium it is better to perform at the end of May if seedlings were grown. For this, a hole should be dug in such a size that a seedling of "dahlia chamomile" can easily fit there, but at the same time its root collar was not buried, but was level with the soil on the site. If the seedlings were not in hotel containers, then it is recommended to water them well before planting. Plants can be removed from the seedling box with a tablespoon, being careful not to destroy the earthy clod that surrounds the root system. The distance at which the ammobium seedlings should be placed must be kept within 30–35 cm. Before installing the plant in the hole, a layer of about 2–3 cm of drainage material is poured there, then it is sprinkled with soil so that the new layer completely covers the previous one and only then can a flower be placed on such an earthen mound.After that, the soil is poured around the seedling into the hole and squeezed a little in a circle. Then abundant watering is carried out. When forming a high flower bed for an ammodium, its height can be equal to 30 cm. It can be done by the bulk method, limiting such a place with stone or brickwork. You can use wooden boards, willow vines or plastic as a limiter. Then you need to lay a drainage layer, and only then pour the soil mixture. The advantage of such a structure is that if the soil on the site is not suitable for cultivating dried flowers, it can be composed independently from the necessary ingredients. After that, the substrate on a high bed is allowed to settle for a couple of days, and if required, they are refilled again. Only then can you start planting seedlings.
  4. Watering when caring for ammobium, it will only be required for planted bushes until they adapt. Since the plant is drought-resistant, after it takes root, it will have enough moisture from natural precipitation. You will have to help the dried flower by moistening the soil only during periods of too strong and prolonged drought. Basically, watering for the immortelle should be moderate.
  5. Fertilizers when growing ammobium, it is recommended to apply it immediately after seven days from the moment of planting in open ground. To build up the deciduous mass, apply nitrogen fertilization (for example, nitroammofoska). You should not abuse nitrogen preparations, since instead of flowering, the plant will begin to actively increase the number of leaf plates. When another couple of weeks have passed, complete mineral complexes, such as Fertika, Agricola or Kemira-Universal, can be used to fertilize the grown ammobium bushes. Also "dahlia chamomile" responds well to the introduction of mullein infusion. Such dressings should be applied only once per growing season.
  6. Blank inflorescences of ammobium to create dry compositions is carried out when the buds have just begun to open (half-opened). At this time, the tubular flowers in the central part are still covered with marginal scaly flowers. In this case, the length of the shoots should be about 25 cm. After that, the stems are collected in 5-7 pieces in bunches and hung in the attic or other dry room, provided with sufficient ventilation with the flower heads down. It also follows that the selected place is shaded, which will ensure that the color of the ammobium inflorescences does not fade from direct UV streams. But it should be remembered that after drying, the bright yellow color of the tubular central flowers will turn brown, which will slightly reduce their attractiveness. To prevent such changes, when the stems are completely dry, they are subjected to bleaching. With this procedure, treatment with sulfur vapors is performed. To perform bleaching, you need a box made with great tightness so that its doors are tightly locked. Bunches of ammobium stems with inflorescences are attached to the upper part of the box (inside), and under them a plate of iron or a bowl of clay is placed, where hot coals are placed. Sulfur powder is poured on top of the coals, and when it starts to burn, it is recommended to close the doors tightly. In this state, "bouquets" of dried flowers spend at least a day. Then the inflorescences of the ammobium basket acquire a glossy white color at the edges with a bright yellow central part. Sometimes florists paint the whitish petals of the wrapper in different shades to make them more decorative. From such shoots with inflorescences, phytocompositions can be formed, which anyone, even a not too rich person, can afford to purchase. The most popular are bouquets with ammobium, where the same plants are combined with it, characterized by the ability to preserve their picturesque qualities during drying. Such representatives of the flora are, for example, blueheads and physalis, as well as gelichrisums.In addition, the bouquets will stand for quite a long time without losing their beauty.
  7. General advice on care. When growing ammobium in open ground, it is recommended to loosen the soil around the bushes after watering and rains, combining this process with weeding. If there is no goal, it is better to remove the seeds, it is better to remove the inflorescences after wilting, since they acquire a brown color, which worsen the decorativeness of the plantings of dried flowers.
  8. Reconciliation of ammobium in landscape design. Of course, such a representative of the flora will not be able to compete in beauty with roses or peonies, but it helps to bring a fresh touch to the decoration of a rock garden or stone garden, filling in the voids. In this case, various varieties can be planted side by side, forming patterns. The plant behaves well in dry bouquets, since the color of its flowers and their shape does not lose freshness for several years.

See also tips for planting and caring for titonia outdoors.

How to reproduce ammobium?

Ammobium in the ground

In our latitudes, this dried flower is cultivated as an annual, therefore reproduction is carried out exclusively by seeds. At the same time, seed can be sown directly on the flowerbed, with the arrival of autumn or in spring, but this method is suitable for cultivating "dahlia chamomile" in southern regions characterized by warm winters. In our latitudes, it is best to cultivate seedlings.

In seedling propagation, ammobium seeds are sown from early to mid-spring. In the seedling boxes, you need to pour a special purchased substrate for seedlings or mix sand and peat in equal amounts. The seeds are small, so they can be mixed with sand before sowing so that they can be evenly distributed over the soil surface. From above they are sprinkled with a thin layer of the same substrate and sprayed with warm water from a fine spray bottle. If you use regular watering, you can wash the ammobium seeds out of the soil.

The box with crops should be placed on a windowsill well-lit by the sun, but shade should be organized at midday by hanging light curtains on the window or a curtain made of gauze. A piece of glass should be placed on top of the seedling box or the container should be wrapped in plastic transparent wrap. Caring for the crops of ammobium will consist in timely spraying the surface of the substrate, when it dries out and regular ventilation. After a week or 10 days, the first shoots can be seen.

When a couple of real leaves unfold on the ammobium seedlings, you can pick them in separate pots or again into seedling boxes, but leaving about 7 cm between the plants.When transplanting into separate pots, it is better to take those made of pressed peat. This will then allow you not to pull the plants out of the container, but plant it by placing the pots directly in the planting holes. Some gardeners dive seedlings into the greenhouse for rearing.

Transplanting dried flower plants into open ground is performed already when the return frosts recede, approximately in the last week of May. Ammobium transplant is tolerated quite well. While engraftment is in progress, abundant watering and fertilization are recommended.

Possible difficulties in cultivating ammobium in the garden

Ammobium flower

You can please gardeners with the fact that when growing this summer, it is not susceptible to damage by harmful insects. However, if the rules of care are regularly violated, namely, from an incorrectly selected irrigation regime, the ammobium will suffer from rot. In this case, a whitish or grayish bloom may form on the leaves and stems, the foliage will turn yellow, begin to wither and fly around. In order to carry out measures to combat such diseases, it is required to remove all parts of the flower affected by putrefactive processes, then perform treatment with fungicidal preparations, such as Fundazol or Topaz. After that, it is necessary to transplant the bushes to a new place and level the moisture regime.

Read also about protection against diseases and pests of scorzonera when growing in the garden

Interesting notes about ammobium

Ammobium grows

The famous scientist, botanist and taxonomist of terrestrial flora from Britain Robert Brown (1773-1858) was the one who first introduced the botanical world and gardeners to this dried flower. Many people know him as the author of the "Brownian motion". Ammobium was described by a botanist at the end of the 16th century, but growing the plant as a culture began only in 1822.

Despite the fact that the flowers of the summer are not particularly attractive and aromatic, they actively attract a large number of bees to the site, which simultaneously pollinate all the plants in the garden.

In nature, on the Australian continent, ammobium is found on pastures and in forests, sometimes covering vast territories, and also covers the roadsides abundantly with its thickets. It is widespread north of the Jindabyne region.

Ammobium species

In the photo, winged Ammobium

Winged ammobium (Ammobium alatum)

The plant received its specific name due to the unusual outlines of the leaf plates, which are formed in the root zone of the stems. They are shaped like wings. The stems of the herbaceous bush can reach a height of 0.7 m. Shoots grow straight, branching at the top, their surface is pubescent. The outlines of the leaves are elongated with a pointed tip.

At the ends of the peduncles, with the arrival of summer, the formation of basket inflorescences occurs. They are composed of tubular small flowers that surround scales that take a petal shape.

This species has varieties characterized by larger flower parameters and stem height below the base species (about 40 cm). However, some forms are characterized by flowers of the same size and shape. Today, scientists have bred varieties with stems only 2 cm high.

The most popular varieties of winged ammobium are:

  • Large-flowered (Grandiflorum) the height of the shoots, which reaches 72 cm and is stronger than that of the base species. The diameter of flowers is not more than 1, 9–2 cm. Growing is carried out by seedling method.
  • Bikini the height of these small plants will not exceed 40 cm. This variety is recognized as the winner at numerous horticultural exhibitions. It is in this variety that flowers are characterized by inflorescences of the same shape and size.
In the photo Ammobium craspediodes

Ammobium craspedioides

often referred to Yass daisy… It is a rosette-forming perennial plant with simple, unbranched, unbranched stems. Their surface is more or less pubescent. Basal leaves vary in shape from oblong to lanceolate, often taking spoon-shaped outlines. The length of the leaf blade is 3–12 cm, 10–17 mm wide, with a sharp apex. The upper side of the foliage has multicellular scaly hairs, the lower surface is woolly. The petiole is 10–30 mm long, winged. The stems are sparsely leafy and bordered with narrow "wings". Rosettes die off after fruiting. There are few stem leaves, their size is very small.

Spring flower heads of ammobium craspedioides are hemispherical inflorescences (resemble buttons) up to 10–20 mm wide, surrounded at the base by papery leaf-like scales (bracts). Single flower heads are borne on unbranched stems up to 30-60 cm tall. The color of the inflorescences is straw, inside the tubular flowers are bright yellow.

After flowering, they bear fruit with achenes, the length of which is 4 mm. Their surface is smooth, pale brown; seed cup 1–1.5 mm long with awns reaching 1.5 mm in length or missing.

In natural conditions, this type of ammobium was found from Crookwell in the Southern Plains to Wagga Wagga on the southwestern slopes of the Australian continent. The majority of the population is in the Yassy region. The plant prefers to settle in wet or dry forests, secondary pastures obtained as a result of cleaning these areas. It grows in association with a large number of eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus blakelyi, E.bridgesiana, E. dives, E. goniocalyx, E. macrorhyncha, E. mannifera, E. melliodora, E. polyanthemos, E. rubida). Apparently not subject to easy trampling, as the population is preserved in some pastures. It is found in a number of TSRs, crown reserves, cemeteries, and roadside reserves within the region.

In the photo Ammobium claseoids

Ammobium calyceroides

a rather rare representative of the genus, characterized by a small stem height (no more than 20 cm). In nature, they are found in New South Wales, where they are distributed only in alpine-subalpine meadows. The shoots are rather plump, with pubescence on the surface, have a greenish tint, often becoming reddish to the top. Rosettes are formed from the leaves in the root zone. Leaves are painted in a rich green color. The shape of the leaf plates is oblong, ovate-elongated, with a pointed tip. On the surface of the leaves, hairs can form or the foliage grows bare.

During summer flowering, a capitate inflorescence is formed on an unbranched flowering stem, which originates from the center of the leaf rosette, consisting of a large number of small whitish flowers. Each of the flowers has a tubular corolla, at the apex opening in five lobes with pointed ends. Stamens with yellow-colored anthers peep out of the flower.

Also in the genus are the species Ammobium spathulatum and Ammobium plantagineum, about which little is known.

Related article: Rules for planting and growing rudbeckia

Video about ammobium and its cultivation in open ground:

Photos of ammobium:

Photo of Ammobium 1 Photo of Ammobium 2 Photo of Ammobium 3 Photo of Ammobium 4 Photo of Ammobium 5

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