As far as bedding plants go, Lotus berthelotii is arguably the most exotic of them all. Its soft, delicate foliage hangs like intricately crafted silver chains, while its exquisite flowers glow as though made from exotic, flame-coloured glass sculptures. As you can tell, I absolutely love this plant. But don't just take my word for it as Lotus berthelotii has also been awarded the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society.
|Canary Island Chiffchaff|
image credit to http://ibc.lynxeds.com/users/christophe-gouraud
In fact, In 1884 it was already classed as "exceedingly rare", its decline blamed on its removal by eager plant collectors.
Its unusual flower design is believed to be an adaptation for bird pollination. It is thought that the original pollinators were sunbirds which had become extinct on the Canary Islands.
However more recent work has shown that these plants are adequately pollinated by non-specialist flower visiting birds, particularly the Canary Islands Chiffchaff.
How to grow Lotus berthelotii
|Image credit - http://www.infojardin.com/|
With young plants, pinch out the tips of the stems as this will help to promote branching. Be careful with watering as too much or too little watering typically causes foliage drop.
This species will perform best with even moisture, but allow the top of the soil to dry off before re-watering.
The best flowering period will occur in the cooler weather of spring and early summer as they will naturally fall into a period of semi-dormancy to help cope with the hot summer temperatures.
They may even stop blooming altogether over the hottest period, particularly when nighttime temperatures remain at high levels.
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