Night Violet (Vespers Matrona): planting and flower care
Night violet has several names, among which it can be noted: hesperis (lat Hesperis matronalis), matron's evening party or just an evening party. There are up to 30 species of vespers, which in nature can be found in the Caucasus, within Eastern Europe, Western Siberia and the Mediterranean countries. Cultivate the plant began in Europe from the middle of the XVI century. For Queen Marie Antoinette, the Hesperis was a favorite flower. In the XVIII century, they became interested in flowers in our area. Gardeners began to distribute it, and soon it could be seen in the gardens and parks of the landowners, where the night violet was decorated with luxurious flower beds.
Nowadays, interest in gardening and parks is growing, where masters of landscape design take part in the design. And here the night violet again began to gain great popularity.
Description of Night Violet
The evening party grows up to 1 meter high and has a widely developed, closer to the top, stem covered with a silky pile. The leaves that have a green color have the same soft and delicate coating. The leaves are attached to the plant with or without cuttings, while they have a lanceolate shape with a sharp tip. The leaves are long, up to 10-12cm, and a width of up to 3-4cm and are arranged alternately on the stem.
Inflorescences of night violets have many small flowers of pale lilac or pure white. Inflorescences are in the form of clusters, up to 30 cm long, in the form of large cylinders.Inflorescences emit a pleasant aroma reminiscent of the smell of left-handed. The flowers have 4 petals arranged in a cross and reach a size of 1-2cm. You can find a variety of night violets with double flowers.
Hesperis begins to bloom at the end of May and blooms for a month or a half, depending on atmospheric conditions. In hot, arid periods, blooms are not so active. After the end of the flowering period, the fruiting period begins, characterized by the appearance of fruits in the form of pods in which the seeds are located. After ripening, small brown seeds retain their germination for two years. Night violet is very successfully propagated by self-sowing. So that the flower bed does not overgrow with young shoots, they should be planted once every three years.
Cultivation and care
Night violet feels good, both in well-lit places and in the shade of large trees. For its cultivation, neutral or slightly alkaline fertile lands with good drainage are more suitable.
At the beginning of the season, when the flower begins to actively develop, it needs good watering, but does not tolerate stagnation of water in the soil, while it poorly develops and blooms in hot weather with a lack of watering. Therefore, timely, but not excessive watering is the main condition for the normal development of night violets.
If the evening party has a high stem, then it can be tied up so that it does not break off or fall under its own weight or from the action of wind and rain.
Hesperis is a fairly frost-resistant plant and does not require special measures to protectfrom low temperatures, except in lightly snowy, but frosty winters, additional shelter must be built for him.
Propagation of night violets
As mentioned above, night violet propagates well by self-sowing, but, if desired, it is possible and seedlings. To do this, you need to acquire containers for seedlings, and then pour soil into them. In early April, seeds are poured directly onto the surface of the earth, and covered with a mixture of peat and humus, with a layer of 0.5-1 cm. After that, the peat and humus layer is slightly compacted and watered, after which the container, with the seeds sown, is covered with a plastic film to create a greenhouse effect. After 2-3 weeks, at an ambient temperature of + 20 ° C, the first shoots will appear.
Under optimal conditions, good moisture, young shoots will begin to actively grow and develop, and when the first 2-3 leaves appear, they can be transferred to the ground, to open air. At the same time, it is necessary to constantly water and loosen the earth, for air to reach the roots of the plant. Towards the beginning of autumn, stalks of night violets densely dotted with leaves form on the flowerbed. At the beginning of the next season, young plants will bloom profusely.
In order not to bother with seedlings, you can plant young plants after self-seeding and leave as many young plants as necessary for reproduction.
Seeds can be sown in the soil either in the spring, after complete thawing of the earth, or in the fall, before the first frosts.
In the third year of the hesperis, its attractiveness drops sharply, therefore, it is recommended to renew the crops every year.This means that it blooms most abundantly in the second year of life. This is one of the significant disadvantages of growing night violets.
The evening party looks very good when planted in groups in large areas. Its bright and tall inflorescences are very clearly visible at large distances. It looks great on the banks of artificial ponds, next to ornamental grasses or ferns. Due to the pronounced aroma (for which it was called night violet), it is perfect for creating fragrant gardens and butterfly gardens, as its leaves and stems eat some types of caterpillars. It is often planted in places of evening relaxation in order to enjoy this unique aroma, which intensifies in the evening.
Matrona is used in groups when creating high flower beds, taking into account the fact that its leaves quickly lose their decorativeness, therefore, late-flowering, annuals should be planted nearby to hide this flaw. Flowers of night violets can be used to make bouquets, and the plant itself is a wonderful honey plant.
Hesperis stems contain up to 50% of the oils, which allows it to be used as a feed for cattle.
The leaves and stems of night violets are used in folk medicine as a diaphoretic and diuretic.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that the closest relative of the Hesperis is ordinary cabbage and that nocturnal violet has no relation to the usual violets.They called it violet because of the pronounced aroma, and night because it is sharply enhanced in the evening.
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Garden flowers that bloom at night. Mattiola - Night Violet
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