HOW TO GROW PHYSOPLEXIS COMOSA

How to grow Physoplexis comosa


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Commonly known as the tufted horned rampion or Devil's Claw, Physoplexis comosa is a rarely seen herbaceous perennial native to the French and Italian alps. It has a mounded habit with strongly toothed, ovate or heart-shaped dark green leaves. The species name 'comosa' means 'tufted', and it is in fact the only species in its genus.

Under favourable condition you can expect it to reach a height and spread of between 8-10 cm. The unusual bottle-shaped, dark purple-tipped, lilac-pink blooms are approximately 2 cm in length and emerge from dense rounded umbels.

As you would expect from a true alpine species you will need to provide borderline specialist conditions if you wish to grow it outside as a garden plant. Provide a gritty, sharply drained soil which will need to have poor to moderate fertility and preferably alkaline. Physoplexis comosa will perform best in full sun however be aware that can be prone to scorch so some midday shade may be useful. Protect from too much winter wetness and completely avoid soil that may be prone to waterlogging. Arguably Physoplexis comosa is probably best kept under the protection of an alpine house.

When grown outside do not allow autum leaves to build up around alpine plants as this can quickly cause them to rot off.

Physoplexis comosa received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1993.

Main image credit Simon Eade - gardenofeaden@gmail.com

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW CAMPANULA PORTENSCHLAGIANA
HOW TO GROW CORYDALIS LUTEA
HOW TO GROW PHYSOPLEXIS COMOSA

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