Flowering ground cover

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Alisdair

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2011, 08:25:31 AM »
We're really glad of your encouragement, Alberto (ezeiza), thanks so much! That's exactly what we'd hoped for with this forum, direct first-hand experience. We do our best to encourage members to tell us of their own experiences and knowledge, as the central focus of this forum - always so much more valuable, we feel, than simply recycling stuff from other parts of the internet!
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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MikeHardman

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2011, 05:34:57 PM »
Thanks Michel & Alberto.
I readily agree that cold may be a factor. I am familiar with some species of Viola being prone to develop a more-purple colouration to their leaves given low temperatures, usually in association with sunshine. I guess, under those conditions, something in the phytochemistry promotes anthocyanins.
The blackness (extremely dark purple if you like) is not accompanied by any loss of turgidity; functionally, the leaves seem fine. It is not like the blackening that can be caused by frost damage.
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

David Bracey

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2011, 11:16:18 AM »
Yes, but why do they produce anthocyanins etc.  I suppose they must be under stress or is it energy conservation (starch and sugars) as suggested by JTh.    I have referred to the Forum "Autumn Colours", incidentally Alisdair it does not come up under the "search" engine.  If cold weather produces "autumn colours" then we can add summer stress as well.
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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JTh

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2011, 01:20:14 PM »
When I was a student I was taught that the red and yellow (some of them produced by anthocyanins) are there all the time, but they are covered by the green colour of chlorophyll. When it gets colder, the chlorophyll production stops, and the chlorophyll also breaks down, unmasking the other colours.  It seems as if this has been modified somewhat today, it is still valid for colours caused by carotenoids and other pigments, but the anthocyanins will not be produced before the chlorophyll starts to break down, supposedly as protection.There is an explanation on how they protect the plants in an interesting article in Plant  Physiology: Resorption Protection. Anthocyanins Facilitate Nutrient Recovery in Autumn by Shielding Leaves from Potentially Damaging Light Levels (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC281624 ), it says that: Foliar anthocyanins arise in a great diversity of plant species across a broad range of environments, often occurring in response to environmental stresses such as nutrient deficiency, drought, and low temperature, it  is not unlikely that also excessive heat and strong sunshine may be stress factors.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

David Bracey

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2011, 02:19:29 PM »
Thanks JTh.  I wonder if foliar anthocyanin work has been carried in this area viz plant stress in excessive heat and strong sunlight.?
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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JTh

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2011, 03:04:12 PM »
Sounds reasonable, David, but I can only guess.
Jorun
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

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Alisdair

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2011, 05:09:00 PM »
As I understand it the "unmasking" process described by Jorun does happen in those plants where the anthocyanins or other non-green pigments already exist but were previously masked by chlorophyll (presumably explaining why those few plants that show colour before leaf fall even in warm-autumn climates actually do so); but in other plants autumn-colour anthocyanins are produced as a stress-response to cold. Incidentally, blood oranges don't gain their "blood" colour until exposed to cold.

David, To do a full search you must be on the Home page before you press the Search key; otherwise, the search will cover only the page that you are on.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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John J

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2011, 11:31:28 AM »
The main function of anthocyanins is to provide colour, in flowers, leaves, stems and fruit. (Incidently, Alisdair, the most common anthocyanin, cyanidin, was first isolated from your favourite Cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus)). They also have a secondary function and that is to provide protection against tissue damage caused by the effects of ultraviolet radiation. Along with other flavonoids and carotenoids they absorb UV wavelengths. Maybe increased stress levels due to high exposure to UV triggers a response reaction and anthocyanin production is increased as a protective measure.
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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Alisdair

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Centaurea bella - or rather Psephellus bellus
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2012, 05:37:00 PM »
A few years ago the plant quite widely cultivated as Centaurea bella was moved to a different genus, as Psephellus bellus (see Wagenitz, G & Hellwig, F H: The genus Psephellus revisited with a broadened concept, Willdenowia 30: 29-44, 2000). Under either name, this Caucasian plant is extremely useful in mediterranean gardens.
In our hot dry Greek garden, given some shade from morning (but not afternoon) sun, it grows well without any watering, standing many months of drought. It is easy to increase by division, and once planted spreads by self-layering. Eventually it covers the ground, and the dense low foliage is quite attractive, with a silvery reverse; this species appears to have some allelopathic quality – perhaps giving some weed control. But its pretty pink-like flowers are its main appeal.
With us it has some flowers from late autumn on, flowering more from January, reaching a peak in April or May. The pictures below were taken this January.
In cooler mediterranean areas (it is frost-hardy) it is more likely to flower from March onwards; gardeners in northern Europe will instead think of it as summer-flowering.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

ezeiza

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2012, 04:05:51 AM »
Provided conditions are frost free, Plumbago auriculata in both its white and light blue  (actually several shades of it) forms  make an exceptional ground cover for sun. It flowers for many months and remain tidy.

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John

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2012, 11:30:14 AM »
Presumably Plumbago would not be low growing although I realise this is not a strict requirement for a ground cover. Unless there are prostrate forms of it or it can be trained easily to grow flat?
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.

ezeiza

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2012, 09:46:37 PM »
If you do not give it any support it will creep and grow horizontally without any evident problem. Of course not a lawn substitute but in a large bed a glorious sight.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2012, 06:30:07 PM »
Further to my posting photos of Lantana montevidensis showing near-black leaves in the autumn, here are some photos today - fresh light green foliage showing the plant is in good health (I also cut it back some while ago).
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 06:33:06 PM by MikeHardman »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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MikeHardman

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In places, my plantings of Aptenia cordifolia, Myoporum parvifolium and Lippia nodiflora have intermingled. They can all be quite aggressive, especially if watered well. In these photos you can see they are reasonably balanced - able to survive each others' bullying, and making a nice (thick) mixed carpet. First photo: Aptenia cordifolia and Myoporum parvifolium; second photo: all three.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 05:51:28 AM by MikeHardman »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

pamela

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Re: Flowering ground cover
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2012, 07:18:15 PM »
I find Convolvulus sabatius ( also called C. mauritanicus) an excellent ground cover.  It is not like other convolvulus in that its slow growing and very manageable. I am very fond of the little blue funnel shaped flowers which grows so prettily over rocks. It needs full sun. Recommended medit.plant
Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
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