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Erinus alpinus

Erinus alpinus
'Dr. Hahnle' in a trough
alpine balsam
'Dr. Hahnle' in the rock garden
Erinus alpinus

Common name alpine balsam
Family plantaginaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z4-10)
Flowers violet (spring into summer)
Size 2-4"
Light sun
Cultural notes well-drained soil, not too dry
From seed germinate at room temperature
detailed seed-starting info below

Cushion-forming plant, suitable for rock gardens. Easy enough to start from seed, but my first two attempts to establish them in our garden were unsuccessful. In a third attempt, I managed to coax one plant through its first summer and winter, and transplanted it to our rock garden the following spring. It did OK, even bloomed (I didn't take a picture), and seemed fine until the summer drought did it in shortly after I took the photo at right. On subsequent attempts, I've had some more success (as well as more failures), with both the dainty 'Dr. Hahnle' variety and a white-flowered one.

alpine balsam
White-flowered variety with a different habit

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

About my plant portraits
PlantLinks to other web pages about Erinus alpinus

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '00 trade. Baggy 70F (92%G, 5-8d)
  2. Seed for 'Dr. Hahnle' from '02 trade. Baggy 70F (75+%G, starting 8d)
  3. Seed from '08 trade. Baggy 70F (88%G, 8-10d)
  4. Seed from '08 trade. Baggy 70F (71%G, 8-12d)
  5. Seed from '08 trade. Baggy 70F (70%G, 12-16d)
  6. Seed for 'Dr. Hahnle' from NARGS '11/'12 exchange. Baggy 70F (60%G, 9-19d)
  7. Seed for 'Dr. Hahnle' from NARGS '11/'12 exchange. Baggy 70F (67%G, 7-12d)

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