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Video: Thorny Beauty Karlina
Carlina thistle - garden decoration
Among all the great variety of ornamental plants, there is always a group of extraordinarily stunning gardeners' imaginations with their exquisite and strange beauty. I undoubtedly include carlin among such plants. For our flower growers, its other name is more familiar - thistle.
Scientists disagree about the origin of the name. Some believe that the Latin name of the genus was formed on behalf of the Emperor of the Franks - Charlemagne.
According to legend, during the plague that struck his troops, an angel appeared to him and pointed to this plant as a means that could ward off disaster.
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It is also believed that this name comes from the affectionate derivative of the maiden name Karl. It is no secret that many decorative flowers in our beautiful gardens came to us from afar - from Asia, America and even from mysterious Tibet.
And, undoubtedly, not all of them have relatives in our regions. However, the thistle has such relatives. This is Bieberstein's thistle, familiar to all creators of rockeries and rocky hills, although, unfortunately, this plant is a biennial.
Of the almost 20 species of this plant known in Europe, Asia and North America, in our area, perhaps, only stemless thistle can be found.
Perennial herbaceous carlin, characterized by a bizarrely exotic look, is somewhat reminiscent of thorny sea stars and can become a real gem of any rockery. In culture, this plant has been known since 1561. Found in Western Europe, Belarus and Western Ukraine. It grows in dry meadows, hillsides, mountain meadows and glades.
For example, in the Jura Mountains, which is in Western Europe, on poor soils and in some places on the steppe slopes, thorn bush is still quite common. The main medicinal substances of the plant are essential oil with antibacterial active carlin oxide, tannins and resins.
On poor soils, the thistle forms a squat ground rosette, due to which it got its name - stemless.
However, in our garden conditions, it most often takes the form of a low, up to 25-30 cm, bush, consisting of many separate outlets. The leaves of the thorn bush are pinnately dissected, from above they are dark green with a bluish gloss, and below they are pubescent silvery. And very prickly - each tip of the dissected leaf is crowned with a thorn. The leaves of this plant are very embossed. Starting from the second, and more often - the third year of life, almost every rosette carries a beautiful flower - dry and also prickly.
The leaves are initially silvery in color, and the flowers are barely purple, but as the seeds mature, they become gray-golden. Soon the seeds will fluff up and leave the center of the basket, exposing an even light bottom-bed. If the flower is plucked before it is fully ripe, the seeds with shaggy tufts do not spill out and give a contrasting softness to the prickly basket. So they can lie until next season. At the same time, unripe flower baskets, which left their native bush before the time, often already in the fall, and usually in the spring, take on a warm golden brown color. Flowers remain on the plant until the leaves die off after the onset of cold weather.
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Undoubtedly, a very strange plant in a good sense - no bright flower color, no smell (at least for humans), no special delights in the color of foliage …
But, there is something in this flower that simply attracts the eye of an expert to it at different times of the year. An interesting feature of seemingly dry, hard and lifeless flowers is their "fear of water" - in cloudy weather, on the eve of rain, the baskets are closed. They also close at night - obviously to protect against dew … The size of flower baskets is very diverse, in the literature I found a link to the maximum - up to 12 cm.
The philatelic industry did not ignore the carlin, along with beautiful roses and lilies, the prickly beauty was honored to get on the Soviet and Czech stamps.
Due to its powerful taproot, the plant "moves" to new settlements with little hunting, but if necessary, with a large earthy clod, the transplant ends painlessly.
Frost resistance in thistle is excellent, except that in warm and humid winters, it should be protected from excess moisture. The plant propagates by rosettes and seeds, which are sown in boxes in February - May. For winter sowing, the seed boxes are placed under the snow. Seedlings with two or three true leaves are grown in deep flower pots and planted in a permanent place in September.
Young plants bloom in the 2-3rd year. Vegetative propagation by rosettes is best done in greenhouse conditions from mid-May to mid-June. Carlin takes root in 20-30 days, after which the plant is planted in a permanent place. You can divide plants in early spring: late April - early May or in the second half of August. Carlin can live in one place for about seven years.
In conclusion, I would like to note that immediately after the opening of the carlin flowers, she becomes the main heroine of the garden, attracting a great many butterflies to herself. They, in turn, trying to get to the stamens, now and then fly up, bumping into thorny leaves and rigid wrappers of a flower basket. I noticed that the thorn bush often serves as a shelter for lizards. Truly - it will feed and cover - this is such a hospitable plant. And only among the white snow will the dwarf flowers be “lost” in the winter garden.