Introduction


Dracocephalum is a genus which contains some 50 species of annuals, perennials and evergreen subshrubs. The species are found in a variety of habitats that range from rocky and grassy slopes to dry woodland areas predominately in Eurasia. There are however a few types that can be found in N. Africa and in the northern part of the United States. In general their features include square stems which are typical of species in the Lamiaceae / Labiatae family, two lipped flowers on whorls of terminal or axillary racemes, opposite arranged leaves which are aromatic, toothed to entire, and lobed or pinnatisect.

Cultivation generally requires a well drained relatively dry soil and exposure to full sun with some midday shade. There are a few species which are not tolerant of winter dampness and require protection during that period.

Propagation is by seed in early spring or in containers in cold frame in autumn. They may also be divided in autumn and placed in cold frames to overwinter. Cuttings should be rooted and planted during the mid-spring season.

These species are occasionally affected by rust, mildew, southern blight, and spider mites. Despite these few susceptibilities which are easily controlled by natural or chemical controls, they serve well in mixed borders, rock gardens, and herb gardens.




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