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Video: Vatochnik Is A Beautiful Perennial And An Excellent Honey Plant
Favorite of bees and butterflies
Features of culture
A few years ago, I bought a bag of cotton wool seeds just out of curiosity and did not expect that this plant would soon become a decoration of my garden.
Of all the seeds that were in the package, I managed to grow only one plant, and I planted it in an area open to the sun. The cottonwood grew slowly, in a year it stretched out only twenty centimeters, and bloomed in the second year with purple flowers with a pleasant smell.
Every year this plant adds one or two shoots, so I appreciated all its beauty only in the sixth year. A chic shrub with straight branches has formed. First, he releases twigs, on which small red balls begin to swell, then these balls open, creating a skirt, and now a flower of amazing shape and color blooms. This is a very beautiful sight.
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Vatochnik blooms for 30-35 days, but even long after flowering it remains decorative, instead of a whole inflorescence, one or two fruits are formed on the plant in the form of a swollen bubble covered with thick bundles. The color of this original box is somewhat darker than the leaves, and its presence only increases the decorative effect of the plant itself.
By the time of ripening, the capsule is filled with black-brown seeds with long white or yellowish silky threads. The capsule cracks when the seeds are ripe and can be carried long distances by the wind. During the flowering of the fleece, you can study the world of insects. Different types of bees and bumblebees fly from flower to flower from early morning until late evening, collecting nectar.
Vatochnik is an excellent honey plant, it is especially valuable because in many regions its flowering occurs during a period when there are few flowering plants. He has no equal in the amount of nectar. Quilted honey has a delicate aroma and excellent taste. According to American authors, a strong bee colony brings up to 6-8 kg of excellent honey from flowering tracts of this plant per day.
But the most amazing thing is that during the flowering of the fleece, I several times saw monarch butterflies on it and also an incredibly beautiful butterfly with large wings, its name is the sailboat Podaliry. So she is named in honor of Podalirius (Greek mythology) - the son of Asclepius (Aesculapius), a military doctor. The Latin name for the cotton wool is Asclepias incarnata L.
So it was named in honor of the already named healer Asclepius for the medicinal properties of the species. Such was the amazing connection between the wadder (Asclepius) and the butterfly (his son Podaliry). Botanists have determined that many butterflies use cotton wool as a medicinal plant to cure their ailments.
The vatnik also has other names - these are pleural root, swallow grass, aesculapian grass, swallow.
Types and varieties
Vatochnik is a genus of plants with about 140 species, from perennial grasses to shrubs. In the 17th century, cotton wool seeds were brought to Europe by seafarers who returned from America.
But then it was used mainly for industrial purposes. Blankets and pillows were stuffed with soft hairs and used in the production of fabrics.
Meat-red vatnik (Asclepias incarnata L.) is a perennial plant up to 100-150 cm tall, originally from North America. Stems are erect, leafy. The stem is very juicy. When broken, it secretes a large amount of milky juice. This juice is poisonous, so you need to be careful when working with the plant. The leaves of the fleece are oblong-elliptical. The flowers are red or pink-purple with a pleasant vanilla aroma, collected in an umbrella-shaped inflorescence up to 6 cm in diameter.
There are varieties with white flowers. Quilted plants are not demanding on soil and care. It will melt perfectly not only on black soil, but also on loamy soils. It grows well in open, moist areas, but it can grow in partial shade. It grows slowly, so it is advisable to plant several plants at once in a group. For the winter, mulching and light cover with dry leaves are desirable. For six years my fleece has never froze even once, even in winters with little snow and frost.
In one place, cotton wool can be grown for up to 10 years or more. Ripe seeds of cotton wool are similar to horse sorrel seeds both in color and size, but only they are covered with fibrous cotton wool, for which the plants got their name - cotton wool.
As a medicinal plant, it is used in homeopathy.
Syrian cotton wool (Asclepias syriaca L.). Homeland - the eastern states of North America. In culture, since 1629. In a feral form, it is found in Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, the Caucasus and in some areas of the Black Earth Zone.
The stalk of the fleece is dense, hollow, erect. Plant height up to two meters. The lower part of the stem is tetrahedral, from about the middle the stem becomes rounded.
The leaves of Syrian cotton wool are dark green, leathery. Flowers up to 1 cm in diameter, light pink, fragrant, collected in large umbellate inflorescences. Blooms in July for 30-35 days. Hibernates without shelter. Drought-resistant. It grows quickly, but it does not form a dense curtain, new shoots can grow up to a distance of almost a meter from the mother plant. Therefore, in order to have a compact bush, the plant should be limited by digging a border around it.
Aqueous extract from the seeds of Syrian cottonweed is used for washing, dressing, compresses for various skin diseases, for healing wounds and stopping inflammatory processes; water extract from inflorescences - for the treatment of ulcers, purulent wounds and insect bites.
Tuberous cotton wool (Asclepias tuberosa L.). A short (50-70 cm) perennial plant from North America with bright yellow flowers, collected in corymbose inflorescences that adorn the plant from mid-summer to autumn. Very beautiful perennial drought-resistant plant. Attracts butterflies. It differs from other vatniks in that it does not contain poisonous milky juice. The plant was traditionally eaten by the Indians.
Flower buds and young ovaries taste like peas, and young shoots are used like asparagus. In hot weather, the flowers produce so much nectar that it crystallizes and can be consumed as sweetness. An edible oil is obtained from the seeds. The roots are also eaten and have a nutty flavor, and they were also used by the Indians to make a decoction that was used as an expectorant for colds and pneumonia. The first European settlers in North America considered the plant a remedy for all diseases. Requires shelter for the winter.
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Reproduction of cotton wool
Vatochnik is easily propagated by fresh seeds. Before sowing, the seeds are soaked for a day in warm water, and then sown in containers, lightly sprinkled with planting mixture.
Crops are kept at a temperature of 18 … 25 ° C. Seedlings appear in 10-15 days. When two real leaves appear, the plants must be carefully planted in separate cups. And then plant it in the ground when the threat of frost has passed. Unpicked plants do not take root well. After the vatnik grows up to 15 cm, the sprout must be pinched. In spring, an adult plant can be propagated by dividing the bush.
Vatochnik partners: it is not recommended to plant it together with small perennials - it has powerful, large plants, and not everyone will endure such a neighborhood. Quite a good combination with tall grasses, such as high barley (Melica altissima), miscanthus, reed grass (Karl Foerester), high varieties of meadows, or pike (Deshampsia). Also, aconites, echinacea, physostegias, veronicastrum, tall types of bells look good next to them.
Tatyana Lybina, gardener
Zhezkazgan, Republic of Kazakhstan
Photo by the author