Distinctive features of the plant, the cultivation of glaucidium on the site, the rules of reproduction, diseases and pests that annoy the flower, interesting facts, species. Glaucidium, which has a name that sounds in Latin as Glaucidium and refers to a monotypic (which contains only one specimen of flora) genus of plants with a long life cycle and a herbaceous form of growth. The family that includes this representative of the green world of the planet is called Buttercup (Ranunculaceae). And the only species of this genus is called Glaucidium palmatum or Glaucidium palmate, can be found on the territory of the island of Hokkaido (the second largest Japanese island), as well as in the northern region of another large island of the Japanese archipelago Honshu, in the mountain forests.
If we take into account the evolutionary relationships between organisms (phylogenetic closeness), then science has established such a relationship with specimens of another genus, also belonging to the Buttercup family, namely Yellowroot (Hydrastis) or Hydrastis, which are dicotyledonous flowering plants.
The scientific name of glaucidium is completely identical with the name of the genus of feathered predators, which are called the Sparrow Owl (Glaudicium), belonging to the family of Owls (Strigidae). The word, which is included in the names of the plant and the small owl, has the ancient Greek roots "glaucous" and means "light blue", "gray" or "greenish". This also includes such derivatives "glaucous" and "owl", which formed the basis for the name of the passerine owl. And if we proceed from the color scale, then the basis of this was the juice that secretes the Machok horned, also sometimes called Glaudicium corniculatum, which gave a common name to the whole genus "Glaucium" in translation means "Machok". Due to the fact that the flowers of both plants are quite similar, the term Glaudicium was born. Probably because of this, among the people glaucidium is nicknamed "Japanese poppy".
So, the plant in question itself is a herbaceous perennial with a rhizome that has a powerful appearance, but at the same time is compact in size. The stem of glaucidium is simple and two large leaf plates are successfully placed on it. Their diameter does not exceed 20 cm, the contours are palmate. It is because of this shape of the leaves that the plant looks quite decorative even without flowers. But this is also facilitated by their surface, which has a "textured" coating. On the leaf plate, protruding veins are clearly visible, which also add special features to the general decorativeness of the foliage. There are a few more leaves, small in size and similar to scales. The color is very pleasant pale green. Foliage begins to appear in late spring (in the first decade of May), but eventually takes on a bronze tint by autumn.
Flowers are placed singly, their outlines are correct, actinomorphic - when a vertical plane can be drawn through the axis of the flower, in at least two directions, which will divide it into equal parts. Parts of the flower are arranged in a spiral order - the bud is spirocyclic. Its dimensions are large, with full disclosure it can reach 8 cm in diameter. The color of the petals is usually white, blue, pale lilac or pinkish. Flowers are crowned with a long flowering stem, the length of which can reach half a meter.
The corolla of the flower is bell-shaped, inside it you can see a fluffy sultan of stamens painted in yellow color, the number of such stamen formations can reach 600 units. There are only a couple of petals in the bud, and they (in the biological sense) represent the calyx, since there are no real petals (in the botanical sense). The flowers of glaucidium themselves are very reminiscent of the blossoming buds of a dream-grass or, remotely, some varieties of peony. There are similarities with poppy flowers or plants belonging to the barberry family. Also, if we talk about the snow-white petals of a flower, then there is a form of Glaucidium palmatum album, which was spontaneously bred by Mother Nature herself.
From the very beginning of flowering, the peduncle is under a bend and the flower looks like a bell with its head bowed to the soil, but then the stem with the flower straightens, and the bud completely spreads its petals. Since the plant forms flowers at the height of summer, pollination also occurs due to multiple insects, but if there are none, then self-pollination can also occur. The process of painting with flowers will last for two weeks or a maximum of 18 days.
After flowering, the fruit appears in the form of a leaflet. It contains a large number of seeds, that is, it is a polysperm with a leathery, dried pericarp. Often the leaflet is opened along the seam located on its "abdomen", and the seed is attached along the abdominal seam. In appearance, these fruits resemble flattened beans, connected in pairs at their base. Even after the flowers wither, due to the beautiful outlines of the leaves, glaucidium does not become less decorative and pleases the eye with its appearance.
Where the plant grows in natural conditions, it is considered the national pride of Japan. According to experts in the creation of phytocompositions, this gentle representative of the green world is ideal for any flowers in the phyto-assemblage. In one and the same place, glaucidium can successfully grow for many seasons, and, moreover, over time, the bush becomes more and more beautiful and can even create a curtain - a flower bed or a flower bed on a personal plot. Its height often reaches 40 cm. Since the plant is a rather unpretentious representative of the flora and copes well with our temperatures, it is suitable for cultivation in the climate inherent in central Russia, and at the same time its seeds ripen perfectly.
Glaucidium maintenance tips, planting and care
- Lighting and selection of a landing site. This plant can show excellent growth in a wide variety of conditions. These are both well-lit sunny places, and, which is especially important, placement in the shade or partial shade. Soils are also varied, both very dry and fairly moist. It is not recommended to change the place of growth often, and glaucidium does not need it, it does not look depressed, and every season it becomes more and more decorative. However, the best placement for a bush is considered to be a place under the canopy of deciduous trees, where the shading is openwork from leaf plates. If the planting site is sunny and without shade, then you should be prepared for the fact that the leaf plates become less elegant, and the flower petals fade and stay less on the plant.
- Soil for planting glaucidium. It is preferable that when planting, the substrate is moist and nutritious, somewhat similar to forest. This can be the following soil mixture: sod land, leafy soil (without the inclusion of oak and nut leaves), peat soil, river sand (all parts of the components are equal). Garden compost, crushed ash and charcoal are often mixed in, and a fraction of a complete mineral complex preparation is also added. The water capacity can also be increased with clay soil. Before planting, a hole is dug up and a compiled substrate is poured onto the bottom, then a bush is installed, its root system is carefully straightened and the same soil is poured to the top. Early growing stems must be carefully protected from recurrent frosts, which can still occur on spring days. Mulching the soil under the bush should be carried out. If the plant is planted under the crowns of different trees, then you should not remove the fallen leaves, as this will be material for natural mulching, otherwise you will need to use compost and humus from the leaves.
- Watering. Sometimes glaucidium can tolerate a slight drought, but in the summer heat, it is worthwhile to slightly moisten the soil under the bush.
Recommendations for reproducing a flower with your own hands
You can get a new glaucidium bush in early May or in the second half of August by dividing its rhizome. It is important to do this before the start of the vegetative activity of the bush or during the period when the young buds are already fully formed. In this case, a sharpened disinfected knife is used. Disinfection is carried out with alcohol or potassium permanganate. It is recommended to powder the slices with activated or charcoal crushed into powder - this will protect the root system from decay. The planting hole must be filled with a nutritious fertile substrate suitable for growing glaucidium. There you need to add 1/2 cup of ash and also one teaspoon of a complete complex mineral preparation (fertilizer). The rhizome in the horizontal plane is placed to a depth of no more than 8–10 cm. After planting, regular soil moistening should be carried out at first.
Reproduction is also carried out by the seed method. The collection of seed material is carried out at a time when the leaflets are ripe and have already fully opened. This time is quite extended, and it falls in the first ten days of August, and will end at the very beginning of September. Seeds are sown in the autumn-winter period in a seedling box, which is subsequently buried in the snow. The seeds contain a small embryo, but they contain a lot of a nutrient called endosperm.
Seeds sprout unevenly, one part of them may germinate in the first year after sowing, another part in the second or third year. During the first year of their life, young glaucidiums have only a couple of leaf plates that have oval outlines - these are cotyledons, which are very similar to cucumber seedlings. It is also mandatory during the first season to plant young seedlings in open ground from sowing boxes, but this is done when the sprouts have already well-formed root shoots. The transplant is carried out during the July days, it should be completed by the beginning of August. This is necessary in order for the sprouts to take root normally before the winter months. And only by the second year of life, a young plant will develop the first true leaf plate.
Glaucidiums that have been grown from seed begin to bloom 4-6 years after sowing. The buds of renewal of such a plant on the stems are located very close to the substrate, in this they resemble peonies, therefore, they should be covered with foliage or spruce branches for the winter.
The only problem with such cultivation of glaucidiums is the difficulty in buying planting material. Surprisingly, such an unpretentious and beautiful plant is practically unknown in Russia, but even in European countries it has not received proper distribution.
Diseases and pests of glaucidium
If you adhere to moderate soil moisture under the glaucidium bush, then it is quite resistant to various kinds of diseases. But on the territory of the personal plot it can be affected by naked slugs, snails or May beetles. The latter causes tangible damage to the root system of the bush, which is not located at too great a depth. Naturally, as mentioned, during non-snowy winters, it is because of this arrangement of horses that the entire bush can freeze out. Therefore, experienced gardeners advise before the arrival of the winter months to cut off the entire aerial part of the glaucidium, and carefully sprinkle the rest with leaves and substrate.
To combat snails and slugs, biological and chemical agents are used. From biological, a nematode is isolated, which will parasitize on these gastropods. This round worm bears the name - Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodit. Do not be afraid that they will harm plants or humans, these worms pose a threat only to slugs or snails. They also use the ecological preparation Slug Stoppa Granules in the form of granules, with an effect for the whole season. Phytobarriers are used - next to the plants, beds with strong-smelling flora samples are planted, they are: garlic, laurel, lavender, rosemary and the like. From chemical agents can be distinguished granular drug "Metaldehyde" or "Thunderstorm". As a rule, such granules are scattered around the perimeter of the entire site or on paths between plantings. However, it must be remembered that this drug is very toxic to humans and pets, all safety measures must be observed.
To combat the May beetle (May beetle), several methods are also used:
- On the site around the perimeter and next to fruit trees or plantings of bushes, white clover or lupine is planted. It was found that the larvae of this pest do not tolerate nitrogen, which is present in the roots of such plants.
- From folk methods, watering the soil next to the plants with onion tincture is used (1/3 of the husk from the onion is infused with 2/3 of the water for 7 days). Further, such a spacer is filtered and diluted with water in equal parts, and then in the evening, the required section of the garden or flower bed is irrigated.
- Chemical preparations will help eliminate the beetle larvae in a fairly short time. Such means are - "Fitoverm", "Boverin" or "Aktofit". These preparations are harmless to humans or insects, such as bees.
Interesting facts about glaucidium
Glaucidium has been cultivated for 30 years in the Botanical Garden of Moscow State University (MSU), and as this experience has shown, the plant perfectly tolerates our winter conditions. It was cultivated without any special shelter in the winter, even when the snow cover was rather small, but as a result, the "Japanese poppy" never suffered and bloomed superbly. However, according to the recommendations of local experts, since glaucidium is still a plant of milder and warmer climatic conditions, it is worth covering it with spruce branches from autumn until early March.
Naturally, since the plant is one representative of its kind, it was already described in detail at the beginning of this article, but there are several more varieties:
- Mikado, in this form, the flowers have an absolutely luxurious rich purple color scheme;
- Hinomaru, the petals of the bud are snow-white, and the middle is painted in a delicate lilac tone.
However, these varieties are quite rare and expensive.
One of the varieties can be considered the horned machok (Glaucium corniculatum) or, as it is called, Glaucium horned. This plant belongs to the genus Glaucium (Glaucium) reckoned to the Poppy family (Papaveraceae). This herbaceous representative of the flora is an annual, less often it can grow for two years. Its stem reaches a height of 10–30 cm and has branching. Leaves in the basal part of the stem are few, they have petioles and are pinnately dissected in shape. Those leaf plates that are on the stem are devoid of petioles, they are sessile.
When blooming, large buds appear, in which there are two pairs of bright red petals. The flowering process takes place from April to June. After pollination occurs, the fruit ripens in the form of a box, reaching a length of 25 cm. The color of the whole plant is bluish, and there is a slight pubescence.
What glaucidium looks like, see this video: