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LYCHNIS


423


Lunaria annua MONEY PLANT


Brassicaceae BIENNIAL


ZZONES 2–10, 14–24


FP AFTERNOON SHADE IN HOTTEST CLIMATES


NDOLITTLE TO REGULAR WATER


Lupinus LUPINE


Papilionaceae


ANNUALS, PERENNIALS, AND EVERGREEN SHRUBS


ZZONES VARY BY SPECIES FFULL SUN


NDOW WATER NEEDS VARY BY SPECIES


b


FLOWERS ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES, HUMMINGBIRDS


Lunaria annua


This old-fashioned garden plant from Europe is grown for the translucent, 11⁄4-in.-wide papery circles that hang on to fl ower stalks; these “coins” are all that remain of the ripened seed- pods after the outer coverings have dropped with seeds. Reaches 11⁄2–3 ft. high, 1 ft. wide, with coarse, heart-shaped, tooth-edged leaves. Spring fl ow- ers resemble wild mustard blooms but are purple or white. Plant in an out-of-the-way spot in poor soil or in mixed fl ower- bed where shining pods can be admired before they are picked for dried arrangements. Tough and persistent; can reseed and become weedy.


With attractive round seedpods resembling translu- cent silver dollars, Lunaria annua is at its best after it has gone to seed. Use it in arrangements with or without seeds. Rub off husks and seeds to reveal the silvery circles.


Lupinus


There are hundreds of species of lupines, many of them native to the western U.S. and found in a wide range of habitats. Leaves are divided into many leafl ets. Sweet pea–like fl owers are borne in dense spikes at ends of stems. Seeds of some species are toxic to livestock. L. arboreus. Evergreen


shrub. Zones 4, 5, 14–17, 22–24. Native to California coastal areas. To 5–8 ft. tall and wide. Spring fl owers, in clusters 4–16 in. long, are usually yellow but may be lilac, bluish, white, or some mixture of those colors. Striking beach plant. Little or no water. L. argenteus. SILVERSTEM LUPINE. Perennial. Zones 1–7. Native to the Southwest, Sierra Nevada, and the Rocky Moun- tains. To 2 ft. high, 1 ft. wide, with silvery-haired stems and (usually) smooth leaves. Flow- ers variable in color—usually blue, sometimes lilac or white. Moderate to regular water. L. hartwegii. Annual. Zones 1–24. Native to Mexico. To 11⁄2– 3 ft. high, 1 ft. wide. Flowers in shades of blue, white, and pink. Sow seeds in place in spring for summer bloom. Moderate water. L. hybrids. Perennials. Zones A1–A3; 1–7, 14–17. Grows to 4–5 ft. tall and 2 ft.


wide. These English-bred hybrid groups are descended from plants native to western Amer- ica. Regular water. Russell hybrids—the classic lupines—bloom during late spring or early summer, bearing tall fl ower spikes in white, cream, yellow, pink, red, orange, blue, purple, or bicolors. Little Lulu and Minarette are small strains—to 11⁄2 ft. high and wide. All Russell hybrids tend to be short-lived. They are prone to powdery mildew; provide good air circulation. Grow from seed or buy nursery plants. New Generation hybrids have all the merits of the Russell hybrids (from which they were developed) but are sturdier, needing no staking; longer-lived, requiring replacement only after 7 or 8 years; and mildew- resistant. They also come in a wider range of brighter, more intense colors. Bloom period is longer, too—from late spring to the end of summer, with possi- ble autumn rebloom if plants are deadheaded regularly. Sold as seedling plants. The Band of Nobles is another series of improved Russell hybrids. L. microcarpus densifl o-


rus (L. densifl orus). Annual. Zones 3–24. California native to 11⁄2–2 ft. high and wide, with white, yellow, pink, or lavender- tinged fl owers in spikes to 1 ft. long. ‘Ed Gedling’, a selection of L. m. d. aureus, is a choice form with bright yellow fl owers. Sow in fall for spring bloom. Little or no water to moderate water. L. nanus. SKY LUPINE. Annual. Zones 3–24. Native from California to British Colum- bia. To 8–24 in. high, 9–12 in. wide. Spring fl owers are rich blue marked with white. Sow seeds in fall or winter; combine California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) with the lupines for contrast. Self-sows readily where it gets little competition. Excellent for barren banks. No irrigation needed except in des- ert zones. L. polyphyllus. Perennial. Zones 3–7, 14–21. Native to moist places from California to British Columbia. Grows 11⁄2– 4 ft. tall, 2–21⁄2 ft. wide. Blooms in summer, bearing blue, purple, or reddish fl owers in clusters 6–24 in. long. One important


ancestor of the Russell hybrids. Regular water. L. succulentus. Annual. Zones 7–24. California native. To 3 ft. high, 21⁄2 ft. wide; lush and leafy, with 6-in. spikes of blue fl owers in spring. Normally found in damp places but adapts elsewhere; sometimes used for erosion control. Moder- ate to ample water.


CARE


Most lupines are not fussy about soil, though hybrids pre- fer rich, slightly acidic soil. All need good drainage. Except as noted, start plants from seed sown in fall, winter, or early spring. To hasten germination, soak seeds for a few hours before planting.


Lychnis


Caryophyllaceae PERENNIALS, SOME TREATED AS ANNUALS


ZZONES VARY BY SPECIES FP FULL SUN OR LIGHT SHADE


DOW WATER NEEDS VARY BY SPECIES


L


Lychnis coronaria


Old-fashioned garden fl owers, all tolerant of poor soils. The different kinds vary in appear- ance, but all come in eye- catching colors. L. × arkwrightii. Short- lived perennial best treated as annual. Zones 3–9, 14–24. To 11⁄2 ft. high, 1 ft. wide, with brown-tinted green leaves. Clus- ters of 11⁄2-in. orange- scarlet fl owers. ‘Vesuvius’ has brownish purple leaves. Regular water. L. chalcedonica. MALTESE


CROSS. Perennial. Zones A1–A3; 1–10, 14–24. Native to Russia. Loose, open form. Grows to


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