Thursday, October 20, 2011

Common Woodruff

Asperula conferta
This is a modest little plant which can be introduced to a garden and let loose to make itself at home. It spreads by rhizomes, popping up stems where it will, yet is not dominant enough to crowd out other flowers. The dense, bright green foliage of tiny shiny leaves and the sparkling little white flowers make an attractive foil for flowers of other colours, filling what traditional gardeners might think of as the “Sweet Alice” niche.

It persists among grasses, so would be good in a native grassland patch. It is also suitable for garden edging, or among rocks or shrubs.

It gets straggly in autumn, when it can be cut back to ground level ready for the next season’s growth. This ability to regrow from the rhizomes also enables it to survive bushfires, popping up, freshly renewed, when the danger is past.
This tough little plant is hardy to frosts and droughts, and grown is full sun or partial shade
While the life span of an individual plant is indefinite because if its spreading habit, it would be desirable to have plants of both sexes so that they can also spread by self-seeding.

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