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From the Mediterranean region comes seven or so species of small perennials with tiny leaves and tubular flowers with spreading lobes. The genus name comes from Greek and means “rough throat,” a reference to its use in treating neck and throat ailments. Taller species can be used in borders, and make excellent cut flowers. Dwarf species can be used in rock gardens, troughs, or alpine houses.

Noteworthy Characteristics

CareIn the garden, grow in well-drained soil in full sun with some shade at midday. Can also be grown in an alpine house.

PropagationSeeds of hardy species should be sown in a cold frame as soon as they are ripe, while those of tender or half-hardy species should be sown at 55° to 61°F in early spring, or where they are to grow in late spring. Take softwood cuttings in early summer.

ProblemsAphids and spider mites may be a problem in the greenhouse.

Species and cultivars

More From the Plant Guide

Winter Interest

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