Gomphostigma virgatum

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John J

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Gomphostigma virgatum
« on: May 10, 2012, 06:45:02 AM »
When I saw this plant last month it was completely new to me, I had never even come across its name before. With its narrow, silvery leaves it looked to be pretty well adapted to a drought resistant life-style so I bought one. It was only when I got home and looked it up on the Internet that I found out the truth. Apparently it comes from a hot area of the world, southern Africa, Zimbabwe, but its common names are River Star and Otterbush. This sounded ominous and as I read on it got worse as it seems it grows along rivers and watercourses and even among boulders in streams. 'It's easily settled within watery circumstances' was another comment. Anyway, never one to shirk a challenge I planted it in area not far from the kitchen door so that it can be the recipient of any spare water available and we'll see what happens.
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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Re: Gomphostigma virgatum
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 07:19:02 AM »
Looking like that, it has no right to be so thirsty!
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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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: Gomphostigma virgatum
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 08:26:27 AM »
Caroline made exactly the same mistake! She passed the plant on to Sally who kept it in a bowl of water and then passed it on to me when I made my pond. In fact of course my pond has no 'bank' but I've planted it right next to the pond and have it on a watering system which waters some pots of annuals daily. In the winter it manages with rain. It has grown well and has pretty flowers at the moment. Unfortunately I can't photo it because the watering means that it is very bothered by weeds which I haven't got round to ousting yet...
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

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John J

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Re: Gomphostigma virgatum
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2013, 07:52:59 AM »
Since I first started this posting over a year ago the plant in question has survived, but suffered, in its original location outside the kitchen and getting whatever water we could spare. Last month I decided that enough was enough and dug it up, put it in a pot and dropped it into our pond. Much to my surprise it appears to have appreciated this treatment has put on new growth and begun to flower.
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)