The haretail (Lagurus ovatus) is a miniature cereal plant. It got its name due to the external similarity of spikelets with hare tails. Lagurus is used in landscape design and in floristry for decorating flower beds, garden plots and creating flower arrangements.
The stem of the plant and its leaves are silvery-green in color. The length of the stem reaches 60 cm. The leaves are attached to it at the very base and reach a length of 20 cm. The spikelets have a lush, elongated structure. Their length is 2–3 cm. Spikelets are covered with light-colored edging.
The homeland of the plant is the Mediterranean coast. For this reason, it takes root well in regions with a warm climate, on rocky, dry soil. In colder areas with harsh winters, the plant may not survive until spring.
His spikelets usually appear in July, but in warm regions they can be observed in early May.
Haretail can be grown both in pots on the balcony and in the garden
This plant is unpretentious to care for. Any soil is suitable for him. The haretail is photophilous, but a small shadow will not harm it. Frequent watering is recommended, especially at high air temperatures and the absence of natural access to moisture in the form of rain.
This plant is distributed all over the world and is actively used in floristry and landscape design.
In our country, lagurus takes root best in regions with a warm climate, in which it can survive a relatively warm winter:
In the world, it is common in temperate, subtropical, tropical zones: Egypt, Israel, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Ukraine, Croatia, Italy, etc.
In the wild, haretail grows on sandy coastal soils
In a number of countries, these fluffy spikelets are cultivated.
Most often, lagurus is used in bouquets of dried flowers.
The pharmacological properties inherent in the plant are unknown, therefore, in official medicine, in folk treatment, it is not used. The main uses for this fluffy herb are:
Haretail is very popular with landscape designers. It looks good on an alpine slide, in mixed flower beds, mixborders (beds in which plants are planted in multiple rows or multi-tiered), as well as in a single planting.
Planting ornamental cereals in a standard flower bed is an original technique that gives a zest to any composition. Spikelets of lagurus help set off yellow chrysanthemums, asters, and other bright flowers.
The combination of white, lilac and burgundy flowers with light green spikelets of a hare tail looks very impressive
Ease of care and long-term preservation of the decorative properties of the spikelet make this plant a real boon for any landscape designer.
The best solution is to plant it together with unpretentious crops, which also do not differ in demanding soil composition. Often it is planted in a group with perennial herbaceous crops, in which the foliage has a dark, saturated shade. This neighborhood gives the site contrast, brightness. An example of such a composition is the combination of lagurus with Irezine Herbst, Coleus Blume.
The cultivation of this plant is done in two ways: by seeds and seedlings, depending on how early flowering is necessary for the gardener.
Plant seeds can be planted in the ground only after the necessary weather conditions have been established.
As a rule, haretail seeds are planted in May.
It is advisable to choose a sunny place, since the plant belongs to the photophilous. A small diffused shadow will not hurt, but the most lush and large spikelets appear when planted in the sun.
Planting a plant with seeds consists of the following stages.
Sowing haretail for seedlings is carried out in March-April in nutritious loose soil
The use of seedlings allows you to get results in a short time. To plant a plant using this method, you must do the following:
In the absence of rain, the plant should be watered at least twice a week.
Caring for the plant is not difficult, but some of the nuances should still be considered:
If this plant is grown for the purpose of its further use in floristry, it is necessary to cut the spikelets immediately after the beginning of flowering, since during this period they are the lightest and most beautiful.
Delicate shades of colored lagurus give a bouquet of dried flowers beauty, tenderness and fluffiness
The light shade of the bristles is an additional advantage, because in this case it is easy to paint them in any color.
After cutting, the spikelets are suspended in a drying room. Timely collected, properly dried inflorescences can be stored for several years and used to create various compositions.
The number of options for their use is not limited and depends solely on the imagination of the florist. Spikelets can be made into an independent multi-colored bouquet or complement a ready-made flower group.
Dry spikelets of the plant can be painted in various shades. This technique allows you to create unique and effective compositions. Such cheerful multi-colored bouquets can delight the eye all winter.
Coloring can be done at home. You can get a special florist spray from art or flower shops, but it doesn't come cheap.
While floristic paint is usually quite bright and has a pungent chemical odor that remains on the spikelet, a solution of food coloring or a decoction of a coloring plant, poured into a spray bottle, will give the plant a more delicate shade and eliminate the need to breathe chemistry.
A simple alternative is to paint the inflorescences with food coloring, watercolors, gouache, diluted with water. The use of natural dyes is also allowed - a decoction of cornflower, linden, sage, chamomile, potato tops, onion husks, etc.
It is most convenient to act with a conventional spray bottle, spraying the composition onto the spikelets. In order not to stain the environment, it is better to carry out the procedure outdoors. As a last resort, you can do this in the bathroom.
Colored spikelets are suspended with spikelets down and dried for two days.
Thus, the haretail is a versatile plant for landscape designers and florists. Unpretentious care, the possibility of artificial coloring and the long shelf life of cut spikelets make lagurus a truly unique crop.
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The haretail or lagurus is an annual that grows up to 60 cm in height. The plant has a very fabulous appearance and can be grown with children who love its name and shape, which resembles a hare's tail. This plant for little hares will definitely become one of the main decorations of the garden.
Spikelets of lagurus with proper care can be very fluffy and can grow up to 3 cm in length. Spikelet pubescence sometimes reaches up to 4 cm in length. The flat, pale green leaves are attached at the base of the grass and reach 20 cm in length. Lagurus foliage is also covered with small villi.
In nature, this plant can be found on rocky slopes, on coastal and riverine sands, on pebbles. In its natural environment, it grows in the subtropics of the Mediterranean.
When completely dry, dried flowers have a creamy shade that can be easily changed by coloring. For painting it is recommended to use:
After toning has been done, it will take 1-2 days to dry, and then haretail spikelets are ready for use in dry phytocompositions. For example, decorators combine painted inflorescences of lagurus with bright flowers well, but it is possible to make an independent bouquet from the spikelets themselves, painted in different shades.
Haretail is not pretentious to the type of soil and grows well on any soil. The plant is light-loving, but a slight shade is allowed. Suitable for growing in the garden or in pots on the balcony. It is drought tolerant, but needs daily watering in hot weather, especially when grown indoors where raindrops cannot reach.
In order to achieve the maximum height of spikelets that will be used in bouquet arrangements, the lagurus needs to be provided with optimal conditions for development. The land is needed fertile, loose, you can add sand. Before flowering, nitrogen fertilization is applied at intervals of 10 days along with watering. After the formation of spikelets, they are fed twice with complex fertilizer. Light access is required for 12-14 hours.
Spikelets for bouquets are cut before they begin to turn yellow. This will prevent shedding and maintain an attractive appearance for a long time. Before cutting, they wait until the dew drops dry, that is, they produce it closer to lunch or at the beginning of the evening.
The haretail is resistant to diseases and pests, as well as to weather conditions. An excess of nitrogen fertilizers causes the stems to break off and a more intense (even darker) color of the greenery. To avoid this, but give the cereal enough nutrients, you can replace one of the fertilizer portions with horny flour.
If you plan to use fluffy ponytails in your floral arrangements, cut off the lagurus as soon as it gets pounded. Do not pull, otherwise the fading panicles will take on a dirty tint. Cleaning is carried out in clear weather, in late morning or early evening, so that there are no dew drops on the inflorescences. For drying, the collected ears are tied into small sheaves and hung in a ventilated room or laid out in a thin layer on a flat surface. Keep in mind that hare tails, dried in the shade, retain their natural color (green or creamy yellow), and under the bright sunlight, the inflorescences fade white, and it will be very convenient to paint them. You can give the "cones" the desired shade with the help of floristic spray paint (sold in specialized stores) or natural dyes (decoctions of cornflower, linden, potato tops, onion husks, etc.)
What a lagurus composition will turn out depends on your imagination: you can collect multi-colored fluffies in a voluminous bouquet or add them to a complex "product" of other dried flowers (lunaria, kermek, immortelle, gomphren, celosia). When collected and properly prepared, haretail panicles retain their attractiveness for several years.