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Annual Biennial

Smyrnium perfoliatum

perfoliate alexanders

S. perfoliatum is an upright biennial with stout, ribbed stems, green basal leaves up to 20cm long, and shorter, bright, yellow-green upper leaves joined to surround the stem. Open sprays of tiny, yellow-green flowers are produced in the second spring

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Yellow Green Yellow
Summer Green Yellow
Autumn Green Yellow
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Apiaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Smyrnium are erect, branching biennials with broadly oblong, divided lower leaves and rounded upper leaves. In late spring and early summer they produce branched umbels of small, greenish-yellow flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Europe

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist but well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Naturalises well in grass

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in situ in autumn or late spring, or in containers in spring. Germination is erratic

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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