Immortelle, helihrizum, Tsmin, yellowstone - all these names correspond to one plant - a herbaceous perennial from the Astrov family. Its branched shoots are decorated with bright inflorescences with small hard buds that retain their beauty for a very long time, even in dried form. The birthplace of the plant is Africa (about. Madagascar and the Cape region), as well as Australia and Asia Minor. Immortelle is actively used in floristry, landscape design and medicine. His genus is quite numerous, which allows you to make a bright and rich composition. It is enough to follow a few simple rules and choose the right place for a flower garden.
Immortelle is a perennial, but sometimes an annual plant with branched shoots. It forms a shrub or shrub with an openwork crown. Under the ground there is a short and weakly branched rhizome. The height of the shoots ranges from 30 cm to 120 cm. Erect stems along the entire length are decorated with a regular narrow foliage. Only at the base can leaflets grow opposite and be larger. The color of lanceolate leaves is usually dark green. There is a short pile or coating on the surface that does not allow moisture to evaporate too quickly.
The flowering period captures July-September. At this time, inflorescences-baskets with a diameter of 4 mm to 7 cm bloom on the tops of the stems. They contain small, like threads, tubular bisexual flowers. They are surrounded by bright petals (wrapper). At the beginning of flowering, the inflorescences are very dense, almost capitate. Over time, they become more loose. The color of the petals is dominated by bronze, pink, yellow, purple, red colors and their shades. The smallest baskets are most often collected in more complex umbrella inflorescences.
The plant is pollinated by insects. After that, oval, prismatic, seed capsules ripen. Their surface is woolly, and on the top there is a single-rowed crest.
Popular immortelle species
In total, the immortelle family has more than 500 species. About 30 of them are used in gardening.
Immortelle (Tsmin) sand. Perennial grass lives on salt marshes, rocky mounds, sandy loams of Eurasia. Short woody rhizome produces several straight, almost unbranched shoots up to 30-40 cm in height. They are covered with regular oblong leaves with felt pubescence. Yellow basket inflorescences bloom in June-August. They are quite small (4-6 mm in diameter) and are assembled into larger and more complex shields. The plant is used in medicine.
Immortelle pink (meadow). A perennial plant consists of branched shoots covered with felt pile. Large footed leaflets grow at the base of the stems, and higher, smaller, lanceolate. An inflorescence basket consists of white male and pink female flowers. They bloom in May-June.
Immortelle is great. A perennial plant with branched shoots 60-80 cm high. Ribbed straight stems are covered with narrow lanceolate foliage with a bare dark green surface. Inflorescences in this species are the largest and brightest, so the plants are very popular among gardeners. In the center are small tubular flowers, surrounded by bright shiny wrappers of pink, yellow, orange, red and white. The variety blooms in July and delights with flowers to frost. After pollination, crested achenes mature. Varieties:
- Violet - a shrub up to 1.1 m high in June, spreads lush baskets 4-6 cm wide with purple or dark red wrappers;
- Fireball - a slender shrub with linear leaves grows 115 cm in height and spreads convex baskets (5-6 cm wide), surrounded by red-brown wrappers;
- Hot Bikini - a branchy shoot of 30 cm in height blooms red inflorescences with a diameter of 2 cm.
Immortelle can be propagated by seed or vegetatively. Most decorative varieties are annuals, so they are re-sown annually. Use purchased seeds, as self-collected may not retain decorative properties. An additional advantage of annuals is unpretentiousness.
Pre-grown seedlings. To do this, prepare boxes with moist sand and peat soil. Seeds are distributed on the surface without preliminary treatment and slightly pressed into the soil. Friendly shoots appear after 4-6 days. After 2-3 weeks, the seedlings are dived into separate pots. It is planted in open ground near the end of May, when the danger of frost disappears. The distance between plants should be 20-25 cm. In order not to damage the delicate roots, it is better to immediately dive immortals into peat pots or carefully preserve the old lump of earth.
At the end of April, you can sow the plants directly into the open ground, however, flowering in this case will come later and reach its peak only next year. As the seedlings grow thinner. Regular watering and weeding are more important for young plants.
Large perennial bushes should be periodically divided. To do this, in the spring they are completely dug out and cut into parts with a shovel. Each divide must have 2-3 kidneys.
For cuttings, young shoots are used, which are cut in the summer. They are well rooted in pots with a mixture of garden soil with sand. In summer, plants can be kept outdoors, and in winter brought into the room. Landing in the open ground is carried out next spring.
Immortelle is very unpretentious, so it will be easy to care for him. First you need to choose the right place. The plant needs a lot of sunlight, only some species prefer shaded areas. The soil for gelichrysum should be loose and fertile, without stagnation of water. Acidity is preferably neutral or slightly acidic.
Before landing, the site is carefully dug up. If necessary, make a mineral complex for flowering plants and compost. A layer of drainage material is poured at the bottom of the landing fossa.
Immortelle is characterized by good drought tolerance, but you can not do without watering to get beautiful, plentifully flowering bushes. Before use, it is advisable to defend the water and slightly warm in the sun. Irrigation is carried out in the morning or closer to sunset, so that the plants do not get burns through drops of water.
Regular top dressing is needed mainly for perennial varieties. It is enough to add a solution of mullein or mineral fertilizer 2-3 times a season. Weeding should be carried out periodically and weeds removed. Also wilted inflorescences, dry shoots and leaves are cut.
Plant diseases rarely threaten immortelle. Among parasites, nematodes are the most annoying. Conventional insecticides from them will not help, since the pest hides inside the stems and leaves. Affected areas are usually simply cut and destroyed.
The refined charm of immortals with airy greens and vibrant colors is hard to overestimate. They are used in mixed flower beds, near buildings or fences. Also, the plant is suitable for decorating rockeries and rock gardens. The flower is very popular in floristry. It is often used in the preparation of wreaths, garlands and winter bouquets.
Not fully opened buds along with the stem are cut in the fall. Leaves are completely removed. Drying is carried out in an upright position with the head down. Do not be afraid to keep an immortelle at home. Although dry, dead flowers are wary, these are just prejudices. Cmin is considered the custodian of youth and attractiveness. He also protects sleep, fights against ailments, endows the owner with courage and courage, and also teaches to take joy every day.
Composition and procurement of medicinal raw materials
For medicinal purposes, the common immortelle is sandy and meadow. Its inflorescences contain a large number of flavonoids, glycosides, ascorbic acid, essential oils, resins, bitterness, coumarins, dyes, trace elements.
The collection of raw materials in the form of not fully blossomed inflorescences is carried out at the beginning of flowering. Together with the basket, the peduncle is cut (up to 10 mm). Immediately after collection (no later than 4 hours), the inflorescences are laid out on shelves in a shaded, ventilated place. Special dryers with temperatures up to 40 ° C can be used. Dry flowers exude a faint bitter-spicy aroma. They are stored in paper bags or fabric bags for up to 3 years.
From the flowers of the immortelle, decoctions, water and alcohol infusions are prepared. It is used alone or included in complex herbal preparations. Essential oil is also used for aromatherapy sessions.
The drugs have choleretic, diaphoretic, tonic, mucolytic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, hemostatic effects. The list of diseases from which the immortelle helps is quite large. It is most effective for:
- diabetes mellitus;
- inflammation of the kidneys;
Broths are drunk to get rid of stones and sand in the kidneys and gall bladder. They restore the digestive tract, strengthen the nervous and circulatory systems.
Like any other treatment, immortelle intake should be carried out under the supervision of a doctor, as part of complex therapy. The plant also has contraindications. It can not be taken hypertensive, people suffering from thrombophlebitis, obstructive jaundice and increased acidity of the stomach.