The common ball flower is a lovely little wild perennial and completely uncomplicated. This is how to properly plant and maintain Globularia punctata.
Profile of common ball flower:
Scientific name: Globularia punctata, syn. Globularia bisnagarica
Plant family: plantain family (Plantaginaceae)
Other names: –
Sowing time: October to early spring
Planting time: potted plants from spring to autumn
Flowering period: May to June
Soil quality: stony to sandy, calcipholous, moderately nutritious,
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: flower beds, group planting, planters, dry stone walls, borders, flower garden, natural garden, rock garden, potted garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 5 (-29 °C / -15 °F)
Bee and insect friendly: Yes
Plant characteristics and classification of common ball flower
Plant order, origin and occurrence of common ball flower
The common ball flowerer (Globularia punctata) is one of the small treasures, which enriches the garden if it is staged in appropriate places. In nature, the wild perennial occurs on dry and calcareous grassland. It inhabits dry slopes and rocky corridors. The home of the member the plantain family (Plantaginaceae) is in Central and Western Europe, and extends from northern France and Belgium to the south to the Czech Republic. It grows in Spain, Italy, Greece and all the way to southern Russia.
Characteristics of common ball flower
From the trailing leaf rosettes rise flower heads up to 30 centimeters (12 in) high. Over the years, the initially fine plantlets develop into small but handsome clumps up to 25 centimeters (10 in) wide. In nature, usually grow several plants in one space. And the common ball flower also works best in the garden if you put three to ten plants together in a cluster. If you want to use the common ball flower as a small-scale ground cover, you calculate 16 pieces per square meter (10 sq ft.).
The lower leaves are rounded to elliptical and stand together in a pretty rosette. The inflorescence is surrounded by lanceolate oblong stem leaves. The dark green foliage of Globularia punctata not only shines lush, but is also evergreen, which you can appreciate in the winter half-year.
The spherical flowers gave the common ball flower its name. They appear numerous from May to June. The fluffy shape of the violet-blue flower heads immediately catch the eye of the small plant.
After fading, decorative, spherical seed heads form.
Common ball flower – cultivation and care
The common ball flower loves a sunny and warm place in the garden.
Their natural location on grassy and stony, often calcareous sites indicates that the basically undemanding wild perennial also thrives best in a permeable, rather poor soil. Mix in a little lime chippings to thin heavy garden soils.
If you have bought potted plants, you can plant the robust wild perennial throughout the season. Plant Globularia punctata as deep as it was in the pot. The common ball flower is also ideal as a plant for joints, for example on the edge of a path. The space between slabs is ideal because paving stones are laid in a sand bed. The small plants are satisfied with 3 to 5 centimeters (1.2 to 2 in) space between the slabs. Excavate the space with a crack weeder. Then carefully insert the roots and fill the spaces with sandy loam.
The common ball flower is absolutely easy to care for. In contrast to related species such as the heart-leaved globe daisy (Globularia cordifolia) or creeping globe daisy (Globularia repens) it does not form runners and therefore does not need to be divided. Just make sure that the small perennial is not overgrown by strong neighbors.
If you leave the seed heads, the wild species seed itself. To do this, you should always leave a few open gaps in the planting in the immediate vicinity. If you want to propagate the common ball flower, cultivate the seeds in pots or bowls. Since the seeds need a cold impact of 0 to 4 °C / 32 to 39 °F over several weeks to germinate, it is best to sow from October to early spring and place the seed trays outside in a sheltered spot. The fine seed is only pressed on. Also pay attention to an even moisture. From April onwards, the seeds will sprout. Prick out the seedlings at a distance of 5 centimeters (2 in). From mid-May to mid-July you can plant them in their final place.
Diseases and pests
Common ball flowers are free from plant diseases and pests. Even snails leave the robust wild perennial alone.
It is hardy down to -29 °C / -15 °F.
Use in the garden
With its pretty flower balls and low growth, the common ball flower is ideal for rock gardens and lower open space plantings. Nature provides the best role models: for example, you can place the globularia on an exposed spot on a sunny hill, where it gives a scene of flowery mountain mats in combination with sunroses (Helianthemum), earleaf bellflower (Campanula cochleariifolia) and other alpine plants. The combination with pasqueflowers (Pulsatilla vulgaris) and Carthusian pinks (Dianthus carthusianorum) is reminiscent of dry grassland. Always place the half-height wild perennials behind the loosely clumping common ball flowers. Because Globularia punctata is best at the edges. This can be the border of a terrace bed, where the flower looks neat all year round thanks to its evergreen leaves, or around slabs. Globularia growing on the crown of a wall is visible from afar. In trays it finds the attention that such a lovely wildflower deserves.
There is a rarely offered white flowering variety: Globularia punctata ‘Alba’.
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