Today not every enthusiastic novelist can boast of the fact that in his garden there is such a plant as a soft cuff.
The cuff is soft (Alchemilla mollis) - a perennial plant of the Rosaceae family with a rather short rhizome and a large, powerful root system. This herbaceous perennial is universal: it feels wonderful "in the sun, in the shade of trees and in the penumbra. On cultivated soils with good drainage grows particularly actively, but on other types of land, with regular watering and fertilizing, develops well.
The aboveground grassy part of it can reach 40 cm. The fan-shaped leaves with a wavy edge tapering to the base are assembled into a round compact bush. From the beginning of summer until the fall, the cuff is soft. Planting and caring for her is fairly simple, and even a budding gardener can easily cope with this. The plant "throws out" peduncles up to 70 cm long, on which there are many small greenish-yellow flowers that form airy and luxuriant paniculate inflorescences. With green leaves leaves in the winter soft cuff. Care for such plants is to sprinkle the core of the bush with humus or foliage and mow down the earth. Such measures will help to prevent "loss" or weakening of the cuff in the next season.
This plant multiplies as a division of the rhizome, and seeds.
Why is it called that?
Indeed, why is a rather modest plant at first glance called Alchemilla, which in Arabic means alchemy? The fact is that medieval scientists drew attention to such an amazing property of cuff leaves - to keep on their surface droplets of dew. The alchemists could not explain why the water does not drain, and they counted the cuff as a mystical plant.
The second word in the scientific name is mollis, which translates as "with a fluffy, soft edge". Decorated with dentate wavy edge, the leaves of this plant really resemble ancient cuffs with lace festoons, that's why they call it cuff.
A bit of geography
In the XVIII century, scientists considered the genus of cuffs to be only one species - soft. Modern scientists to the family Rosaceae (Rosaceae) and the genus Alchemilla include more than 350 species. On the territory of our country you can find cuffs of 170 species, of which more than 30 - on its European part. The main distribution area of plants of this species is found in the temperate climatic zones of North America and Eurasia. In Africa, South America and New Zealand, there are some Alpine species.
One of the ways in which the soft cuff multiplies is planting with seeds.
Divide the bush
The possibility of obtaining a few new plants appears in gardeners in the early spring and autumn: it is possible to divide the adult and overgrown bush, which formed a soft cuff. Planting and caring for separated seedlings are not a problem: the most difficult is to extract a thick lump of roots from the soil and divide it. The resulting products are planted in a previously prepared and enriched peat soil. If you spend the division of the cuff in the spring, then the matured and grown up seedlings can be transplanted in the middle of summer to a permanent place, leaving a distance of at least 30 cm between them.
Soft cushion: landing and care in the open ground
As already mentioned above, Alchemilla mollis easily adapts to almost any conditions. It is only necessary to note that the cuff demonstrates its fullest decorative qualities on fertile, well-fertilized, sunny and moistened areas. On poor soils, as well as in a dense shadow, a small bush will grow, which will grow not in height, but as if "creep" along the earth. Regardless of the soil and the level of illumination at which the soft cuff grows, the planting and care (the photo shown below demonstrates this clearly) are always simple and accessible even for children.
- For the winter, the leaves of this plant should not be cut, since they will serve as an additional shelter in the winter cold.
- If the weather in the autumn-winter period is not constant, then both the young plants and adult shrubs are best covered with foliage, with a broken compost or humus.
- In spring, even with well-seasoned soil, it is better to feed plants with nitrogen-containing fertilizers to stimulate the formation of leaves and the formation of a lush bush.
- As the soil dries up, it is necessary to water the plant, especially in hot and dry weather.