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Inula Hookeri
Hooker Inula
Lovely!
Type/Hardiness Herbaceous, Perennial, Hardy
Flowering period Late summer/Autumn
Height 24in/60cm
Light preference Full sun/Part shade
Soil preference Any
Sowing time/depth Autumn, Spring, Barely cover
This beautiful plant deserves to be better known. The soft, downy stems bear masses of 2 inch diameter bright-yellow daisy-like flowers from late summer to autumn, which go on to develop equally attractive, cream-coloured, fluffy seed heads. The flowers are much loved by butterflies and bees, and the seeds by birds - so it's a win-win as far as wildlife friendliness is concerned! Try to find a site that allows for spread; this plant can be somewhat invasive, but it is not too difficult to dig out off-shoots that stray too far (and perhaps offer them to friends and neighbours!). Some sources recommend planting in part shade - mine have always thrived in full sun, in a not particularly moist area.
Sowing and/or growing instructions
Sow in Autumn or Spring, pressing gently into the surface of moist, but not waterlogged, compost. Cover with a very thin layer of vermiculite or sifted compost (light is required for germination, which usually takes 1-6 weeks). Seal in a plastic bag or place in a propagator at about 65F/18C. Alternatively, simply place the sown pot in a cold frame and await germination. Prick out seedlings into individual pots and grow on until sturdy plants have developed, which can then be planted in their final positions.
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Begonia sutherlandii Eranthis hyemalis Callistephus chinensis, Ex. single white Cichorium intybus Viola cornuta 'Back to Black'  

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