The lump bump is back.
At the zenith of summer, our gardens are full of dozens of different bright colors, filled with their unique fragrant aroma. However, experienced gardeners in the summer remember the time of winter cold and carefully grow dried flowers - plants that can preserve the memory of summer and decorate our homes until the coming of next spring. Among the many such plants (miscanthus, feather grass, barley mane, statice, lunar, cumin, pampass grass, etc.), deserves special attention teasel sowing or nap cone, nap, not common in our gardens, is a biennial of the family of teasel.
The teasel family includes about 10 genera and more than 300 species. Teasel is characterized by the original structure of the flower: the receptacle is usually seated with rather large scaly or filmy bracts; small and usually nondescript tubular flowers “run away” in a spiral from the bottom up. The wave-like flowering of these plants is very interesting: the "waves" bloom from the middle of the inflorescence up and down, from the base of the inflorescence and its middle - up and from the base of the inflorescence to the top. In addition to this, actually teasel and teasel field have a funny device from unwanted visitors from the world of insects: their stem leaves grow together in two, forming cup-shaped containers in which water accumulates; it is not possible to bypass such traps for most crawling insects that climb up the stem.
Teasel (Dipsacus sativus) - cultural view - occupies a special place among the teasel. Its bracts are elastic, strong and elastic scales, pointed and bent downwardly hooked, while in most wild species they are straight and brittle. That is why, since ancient times, its fertility (nap cones) has been used for teasing fabrics. In the manufacture of soft cotton fabrics (flannels, velvet) and especially high-quality wool drapes, the nap cone has been indispensable for a very long time. The former economic purpose of this plant is reflected in its other names - cordon, scabby. This species was bred in all European countries for industrial purposes and for export, and from the second half of the XVIII century. known in culture and in Russia, even later - in America. However, with the beginning of the use of artificial metal cards for teasing fabrics, the industrial value of the pile cones has decreased. In the USSR, teasel was cultivated in the Crimea, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The seeds of this species contain a large number of oils (up to 30%), they were used as food for songbirds. The origin of teasel sowing is not exactly known, but there is an assumption that it arose in antiquity from the Mediterranean wild teasel (D. ferox).
Nowadays, only the glory of a beautiful dried flower prevented this plant from disappearing from our everyday life.. Among the four species of teasel suitable for use as dried flowers, the teasel is the most beautiful, and, very importantly, it has large and very strong fruit - “cones”. This plant is a favorite object of florists both as an independent decoration of the home, and in compositions. Teasel also looks great in the garden. And even in the winter, left on the site and dusted with snow, it looks very exotic.
Teasel sowing - a large-stem prickly plant 1 - 2 m high with opposite leaves, pairwise fused with their bases. The basal rosettes are powerful, composed of a dozen light wrinkled leaves. Flower-bearing stems along the entire length are prickly, branched and bear up to 20 "cones". These "cones" have a cylindrical shape, their length reaches 10 cm, they are of different sizes even on the same bush.
Cutting is usually carried out in early September, when the cones reach maturity, but before they turn brown from the rain, do it in dry weather. Fully ripened, they have a brown color, and if cut earlier, they will be green (a matter of taste). To avoid injuring your hands, put on tight gauntlets or gloves, otherwise blood cannot be avoided. Teasel has not only prickly cones, but also splintery sturdy peduncles. Before drying, it is advisable to remove the thorns from the stems with a sharp knife, and to remove the seeds, it is necessary to hold the knife several times from the bottom up. Cones cut off with a part of the peduncle are dried for 4 - 5 days in the shade, hanging down by inflorescences. After that, remove the leaves at the base and crest on top, put in a cardboard box and store in an unheated dry room.
Although teasel as a whole is very unpretentious, drought tolerant and cold-resistant plant, most developed plants and large cones get on moderately fertile loam, in a sunny place - the soil for planting should be moderately moist, loose, with a permeable structure, uniform in mechanical composition and not too fertile: on too oily soils, the plant refuses to bloom (“greases”), and too moist, low-lying lands are fraught with the plants warming up in the spring.
© H. Zell
Teasel blooms in August. A month after flowering (in September) the seeds ripen - tetrahedral, large, retaining their germination for a long time (3-4 years). If they are not collected on time, they get enough sleep, and then teasel by self-seeding quickly conquers new territories. She can run wild and grow in the nearest abandoned areas. When choosing neighbors for teasel, keep in mind that it is quite aggressive and can drown nearby tender plants.
Seeds are sown to a depth of 2 - 2.5 cm in the fall, immediately after harvest, usually in early October, or in early spring. It is better to sow them immediately in a permanent place. Teasel seeds are large, up to 5 cm long, with a dense skin, need to be pre-soaked for 2-3 hours in a solution of flower fertilizers or a slightly pink solution of potassium permanganate; they have a germination rate close to 100%, therefore it is better to lay them into grooves piece by piece after 5 - 7 cm.
© Eugene Zelenko
In the first year, only rosettes of leaves are formed that remain to winter. If the sockets grow closely, then at the end of September or in the early spring of the second year they are carefully dug up and planted - their food area should be at least 60 x 30 cm, otherwise the cones will be small. Plants tolerate transplanting well. In autumn, it is useful to remove several lower large green leaves in the resulting lush rosettes.; for the winter, plants need to be slightly hilled and covered with spruce branches so that they do not freeze in a snowless winter; cover should be only with the onset of significant (-5 ... -7 ° C) frosts, when the soil freezes to a depth of 3-5 cm; Shelter will not only save the plant from winter frosts, but also relieve the threat of premature (before thawing of the roots) leaf development; cover should be removed only after you make sure that the soil has thawed completely. At the beginning of the growing season, you can make a small amount of nitrogen fertilizer.
Leaving consists in weeding, loosening of the soil and watering.
Teasel can suffer from powdery mildew, which manifests itself in the form of grayish-white spots on the stems and leaves, as well as the warping of the base of the stem. Cinnamon teasel harms teasel (damaged cones dry or voids form in them), as well as mice.
To better form the fruit, a central stem is pinched in a flowering plant, and on the branches of the first order remove all the side shoots, keeping only 6 - 10 cones on the bush. These techniques allow you to form large developed cones on long peduncles.
Teasel fertility is quite beautiful and without any treatment. But they also look good after painting. To do this, use watercolor paints, ink, ink, aniline and food colors, bleaches.
On New Year's Eve you can surprise guests by treating a lump of pine cone with the help of salt.
- Pour a half-liter jar with boiling water, in which create a supersaturated solution of sodium chloride, slightly cool it. In this solution, lower one lint cone and leave for 2 days. Salt crystals will gradually precipitate and grow on fertility. Then take out and dry the fruit, and you will get spectacular "snowy cones."
© Andrew Dunn
Do not forget just before this operation to insert a strong wire into the stem so that it does not break, because the cone will become heavy. If, using the same technology, a pile is treated in a solution of copper sulfate, it will look strewn with emeralds.
In winter, bouquets of dried plants, which do not require any care or watering, are so pleased!