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Author Topic: Retama raetam - experience from Greece?  (Read 71 times)
JTh
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« on: April 15, 2017, 07:46:04 PM »

I wasn't sure if I should start a new thread or continue with the one already existing for Lygos raetam, but I chose to start a new topic, since the Lygos raetam thread was quite old. The Plant List seems to be as confusing as it was 3-4 years ago, listing both as accepted names, with R. raetam as a synonym for L. raetam, but not the other way around. Anyhow, I have recently seen Retama raetam and would very much like to have it in my garden in Greece, I wonder if anybody could tell me about their experience with this dry-tolerant plant in this region and if you you seen it for sale here?

I found some seeds which I planted a couple of weeks ago, I dont know if I'll have any luck, since they are said to be very difficult to germinate - about 6 % germination is normal I read somewhere, unless you pretreat the seeds. One of the methods described was passing them through the digestive tract of a donkey or a goat, none of them readily available at the moment, so I have tried various other methods of scarification. Pouring boiling water over the seeds and leaving them overnight made one of them (of a total of about 35) swell nicely. I tried to scarify them with sandpaper, which was impossible, they were too hard, and small, so I finally nicked them (and my fingers) with a small nail clipper, which made them (the seeds, not my fingers) swell in water. If I am lucky, I only damaged the hard outer shell and maybe some of them will germinate.
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Veterinary surgeon by training with a phD in parasitology, worked as virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS and Branch website editor. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.
John J
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 06:54:01 AM »

Jorun, just returned from 2 weeks in UK with limited Internet access so have only just seen your post. We have grown this plant in our garden, and our daughter's garden, for several years with absolutely no supplementary water in summer. It was used extensively in Cyprus for planting in central reservations on dual carriageway roads, again without water, and was given the local name of 'the bride' due to its masses of white flowers. The photo below was taken of one growing on a hillside in Morocco that was covered with them.


* DSC01181.JPG (247.81 KB, 893x670 - viewed 7 times.)
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Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)
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