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"Golden nugget" ... cinderella cousin of florists' calceolaria.

"Golden Nugget' . . . cinderella cousin of florists' calceolaria

Florist's calceolarias are stunning beauties, but their flaunting blooms fade quickly when the weather turns hot and dry--or when it turns frosty. Far better for outdoor use is their cousin C. integrifolia, especially its most widely available variety, "Golden Nugget'.

This one shows true staying power. Blooming from mid-April through mid-September, its clusters of 1/2-inch golden yellow purses open first at the top of the plant, then from side branches.

This shrubby perennial from Chile was introduced many years ago but has never become widely known, even though people who try it wouldn't be without it. "Golden Nugget' thrives best in full sun near the coast, in afternoon shade in warmer interior valleys. In the Northwest and intermountain areas, it will need to be wintered indoors, like a geranium. It has been grown in the desert but should be considered an experiment there.

To increase your supply of plants or to get young plants for wintering over, take cuttings now through early fall, using nonblooming tips. Remove the lower leaves from 3- to 4-inch cuttings and root in a mixture of equal parts sand and peat.

Use "Golden Nugget' in mixed borders, in front of bare-legged shrubs, or as a spiller over retaining walls. You can also use it as a hanging basket plant, although the stems lean rather than trail.

Photo: Sunny yellow blossoms cover "Golden Nugget' calceolaria spring through fall. Shape of tiny flower gives rise to names such as lady's purse and slipper flower
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Aug 1, 1984
Words:255
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