Friday, May 27, 2011

Wild about Feverfew!!!

The picture above is double feverfew from my garden.
This is the more common single flower form of feverfew.
My daughter, Natalie, says that the leaves on this plant look like weeds... Well I guess she's right- so when you gather the flowers just pick the leaves off! This is one of my Favorite filler flowers- feverfew- (Chrysanthemum parthenium according to The Southern Living Garden Book).I
It blooms from late May until late June, and then again sporadically throughout the summer. Many people think that it's chamomile, and the flowers do look similar, but the plant is much taller- some of mine are about thirty inches tall. I started feverfew from seed years ago, and since then I have always done stem cuttings in September as well, just in case it doesn't reseed (HA!). Actually I do stem cuttings so that I can put it where I want it to grow. Feverfew flowers come in single forms, like mini daisies, and double forms, like fluffy baby's breath- well sort-of. It prefers full sun, but I also have plants in shady areas as well. After the blooms are finished, I cut the plants all the way back to about six inches. They usually bush back up and give a few more flowers. It is from the new bushy stems that I take stem cuttings and root in potting soil, (I take about a fifteen or so and usually end up with about ten new plants, plus the stuff really does reseed!).

Feverfew makes such a pretty little posy all by itself, but I usually work it into other designs, and use it more as a supporting actress instead of the star, (this flower is definitely a girl). Next week it will appear in Melissa's reception centerpieces and her flower girl's posy! And I hope I will have some blooming for Kirsten and Meredith too!
And here is the double flower form. I think this form is one of the most lovely little flowers around. It does not reseed like the single daisy form, so I HAVE to do stem cuttings. Last year all of my stem cuttings just died. I remember praying "Oh Lord, it would be wonderful to have it come back (and Mrs. Johnson's cockscomb too)", and I was delighted to find a it in my mixed border. I plan to guard it carefully! Now I just wonder if I might find some of Mrs. Johnson's cockscomb seeds too....

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