Picture Snob

July 18, 2011

Orchid Rock Rose is great for a dry, rocky spot

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Here the Orchid Rockrose flower is just awakening for the day. Each flower will flatten out, reveal its inner markings, and then fall petal by petal gracefully to the ground with the increasing heat of the afternoon. The next morning the show will start all over again. This lasts for about 4 weeks in early spring.

Rockrose family is a group of shrubs which are covered with flowers that open in the morning and whose petals have fallen by evening. This is a Mediterraen plant that does well with hot dry summers. They also have adapted to the wildfires that frequently eradicate large areas of forest. The plants cast their seeds in the soil during the growth period, but the latter don't germinate right in the next season. Their hard coating is impermeable to the water, and thus the seeds remain dormant for a long period of time. This together with their small size allows it to establish a large seed bank rather deep in the soil. Once the fire comes and kills the vegetation in the area, the seed coating softens or cracks as a result of the heating, and the surviving seeds germinate shortly after the fire.

Perhaps the most beautiful of all rockroses, Orchid Rockrosegrows up to five feet high and as wide. It spills over rocks and hillsides. It is good also in large open spaces. Orchid Rockrose can layer and root along its stem and spread out indefinitely. The plant sounds perfect for the cut bank in back of my house. I started looking for sources and came up with only one.

At Orchid Rockrose

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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at July 18, 2011 5:14 PM
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