|CENTRANTHUS ruber var. coccineus - Jupiter’s Beard|
Valerianaceae; native to the Mediterranean.
Germination: Best sown indoors at alternating temperatures of 55 and 72° with no cover. Seeds will germinate in 15-20 days. Seeds may be sown outdoors in spring or fall, when the soil temperature is cool. Barely cover the seeds as light aids in germination.
Growth: Transplant seedlings when there are at least two sets of true leaves. Space seedlings 2-3 feet apart in full sun in an alkaline, well-drained soil. Very tolerant of poor, low-fertility soils. Deadhead regularly to keep plants tidy. Plants will decline after a few years, so expect to replace them every 3 to 4 years. Will self-sow around the garden.
Appearance and Use: A natural fit in any border, it also takes well to rock gardens, in pockets between stones in a wall, and on stony banks. Centranthus is of clump-forming habit to 24 inches tall and spreading to 3 feet. The 1/2 inch flowers are carmine red to deep crimson and are very fragrant. Individual flowers are funnel-shaped and borne in dense cymes. During their long flowering season from late spring to late summer, the fragrant flowers are very attractive to both humans and bees. The 3 inch long, lanceolate to ovate, green leaves are fleshy-smooth in texture and have a slightly serrated margin.
NASA Seeds in Space
"What’s it to you whether or not we have an orderly, scientifically sound method for cataloguing plants and animals? Not much. But it comes in awfully handy for scientists who, up until the middle of the eighteenth century, had to say something like ‘that little yellow flower with the spots on its petals’ every time they wanted to compare notes," The Linnaean System of Taxonomic Classification, Judy Jones and William Wilson, An Incomplete Education