Eyebright - touching radiance
As soon as gardeners and folk healers do not call an eye-catcher - a zesulka, an oak tree, full-time grass. Eyebright has really become famous primarily for its healing effects in various eye diseases. But her decorative talents deserve much more attention.
Wrong “daisies”, which upon closer inspection turn out to be not baskets at all, but beautiful flowers with a carved sponge, unusual greenery gathered in whorls and amazingly plentiful flowering bogeys are simply charming. In mystery and fabulous radiance with this culture can only compete with aquilegia. And even if the eye-cat is a flyer, it will by no means be a superfluous element in any composition of the natural style in the company with garden centenarians.
Eyebright is more than just a medicinal plant
Eyebright (Euphrasia) in many respects cannot be called a typical grassy annual. This plant is found in nature only in the most unattractive places with poor soil - sandy ravines, quarries, wastelands and dunes. This culture is touching, reverent and very elegant. And certainly landscape. After all, the eye-catcher was created for compositions designed in a natural style. She even in the garden seems a little wild, surprisingly untamed.
Eyebright forms modest squat bushes, not exceeding 10-30 cm in height. But they are so lush, and the greenery is located in such dense whorls that the small size is fully compensated by the beauty of curtains. The leaves are located opposite in peculiar bundles, whorls, small, with a serrated edge.
Inflorescences of eyebright are complex in structure, but very beautiful. Small, only 5 mm flowers are conquered by an asymmetric shape with a large lip, decorated with deep cuts. From afar, it seems as if the lobes around the flower beds are thin reed petals. But upon closer examination, there are far more associations with orchids, snapdragons, nemesia than with simple “daisies”.
Elegant flowers are collected in loose inflorescences-brushes, rarely bloom alone. Despite the modest size of both the flowers and the plant itself, the effect of the glow, the radiance of the eyebright in the garden fully compensates for them. After all, the eyeball is as if covered with a scattering of luminous, twinkling stars.
The color scheme of eyebright includes not so many color options. Shining snow-white or delicate lilac - that's all the variety. But this does not mean at all that the spectacles are boring: there is something magical, mysterious and unique in the shining colors of this culture. And thin veins on the petals only emphasize the elegance of the flowers.
The flowering eyebright begins at the end of June, just when the summer fully reveals its hot character. It lasts as much as the best garden summers - until the first autumn frosts. Over the long months when unusual flowers relentlessly bloom against the backdrop of dark greenery, you can fully enjoy the tender, trembling beauty of the eye-catcher.
Types and varieties of eyebright
Despite the fact that more than 240 species of plants are united in the eyewear genus, only one plant is grown for medical, industrial and decorative purposes - eyeball (euphrasia officinalis), according to modern botanical classifications classified as open-eyed small-flowered (euphrasia parviflora).
Occasionally on sale you can find a higher half-meter straight eye (euphrasia stricta), but this rare plant has such accuracy - rather the exception: almost all cultural forms are distributed under the common obsolete name of the medical eye. You will not find any types of eyebrows on sale, but even the slightest difference in soil characteristics can lead to a change, variation in color.
In the design of the garden, the eyeball is used:
- for decoration of alpine hills and rockeries;
- to create spectacular group landings in a landscape style;
- in arrays and for decorating empty clearings, lawns, groundcover;
- in imitating natural compositions near ponds and recreation areas.
There are significant limitations to the use of eyebright in landscape design: this plant has the unique ability to use suction cups on the roots in order to receive water and nutrients from other plants. In fact, euphrasia is semi-parasitic, and therefore it is not planted close to perennials and especially cereal grasses.
Eyebright is placed in large groups, at some distance from neighbors, and sometimes limited by special barriers dug in the soil. That is why the pupil is so well suited for rock gardens: there, surrounded by stones, it is difficult for her to reach her neighbors with her roots.
The best partners for eyebright: field and forest plants, landscape crops.
Growing "full-time grass"
Choosing a comfortable location for eyebright is easy. This yearbook does not tolerate only one thing - moist soils and stagnation of water, severe shading. If you drop the eye on a well-lit or slightly shaded area, it will delight the eye on any soil, not even of very high quality. Fertile soil for this plant is undesirable: look for the corners of the garden with the most meager soil. She loves sandy and clay soils, preferably with an acid reaction.
Eyebright does not need special care and constant care. But to make it look attractive, some nuances still have to be taken care of.
Since the euphrasia is planted at a certain distance from other plants, and it itself will not completely cover the soil, first of all do not forget about weeding. Often there is no need to clean the soil under the plant: just remove large weeds 2-3 times a season. Do not pull out the “trifle”: the pupil itself will cope with them by drawing out moisture and nutrients. The only way to free the chart from weeding is to mulch.
Eyebright adores decorative dusting, but the usual plant mulch is perfect. Just sprinkle it in such a way as to create a well-groomed, neat appearance, but not completely get rid of weeds: without them, the euphorbia will develop very poorly (she needs to parasitize on other plants!).
Watering eyebright will not be a burden. After all, they will be needed by the eye-catcher (like any other ornamental plant with the status of hardy) only in the prolonged drought and with special heat. But hard watering is hard to call vital: an eyebright can go without moisture for a very long time.
What certainly this flyer does not need is top dressing. For eyebright, even on depleted soil, they never bring in organic or mineral fertilizers.
Pest and Disease Control
Like all medicinal herbs, horticultural crops from among medicinal plants, eyebright is also distinguished by resistance and endurance. In horticultural culture, only one thing threatens her - aphids. She loves this plant and quickly spreads through it. It is difficult to deal with aphids on the eye, spraying with insecticides does not always bring results (and it does not allow to prepare raw materials for grass gatherings) and sometimes it is easier to destroy the affected seedlings.
Propagation of euphrasia
This summer can only be propagated by seed. Unlike many plants, eyelids need to be sown not for seedlings, but exclusively in open ground. This is due to the fact that this culture, despite all its endurance, categorically does not tolerate any transplants. And the only way to grow it is to sow it immediately in a permanent place. Even if you grow seedlings, fully preserving the earthen lump in peat pots, the plants will bloom at the same time as those sown in the soil. Yes, and give way to them in plenty of flowering.
For eyebright, there are two options for sowing:
- winter winter, which is carried out in late autumn;
- spring, which are held in April-May.
The first option for this plant is preferred, because it allows you to get stronger and early flowering bushes. Crops need to be marked out, because young pupils are very small and can easily be lost among other plants (it is even easier to confuse them with weeds)
Eyebright seeds are sown shallowly, only 0.5 cm, slightly covered with soil and watered immediately (but the moistening of the crops should not be too plentiful). They can germinate only when accessing the light, so a deeper sowing will not bring any results.