Linaria triornithophora



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Linaria triornithophora

Purple blooms with long tails, looking remarkably like small Budgies having a chat, make a really fun plant out of Linaria triornithophora Purple Budgies.
Kids love it.  

Purple Budgies having a chat

Purple Budgies produces large, yellow lipped, long tailed purple flowers.
The flowers are usually in groups of three so they really do resemble a flock of plump Budgerigars, having a natter while sitting on many branching stems.
You can cut whole stems to fill a vase, as they make excellent cut flowers.
Another common name is “Three Birds Flying”, which comes as no surprise once you have seen them.
Purple Budgies blooms with squadrons of the little birds, repeatedly and long during spring, summer and on into autumn
(Please see “Growing” section below for plant details, how and where to grow). 

Hardy & easy. But rare (not for long we think)

Purple Budgies is an exceptionally hardy but rarely seen plant. But don’t be deceived, it is only rare because gardeners have just not discovered it yet. 
It is actually robust, tough and not a bit difficult to grow. Certainly not a delicate rarity.
In fact as a native of hot areas in Portugal and Spain, it relishes heat, and shrugs off summer periods of dry.
Purple Budgies is a very water-wise plant, so actually resents being over watered, and likes good drainage.
However it is a little frost tender, therefore it appreciates some overhead cover from taller shrubs in areas with hard frosts. 

Growing: Linaria triornithophora Purple Budgies

Height with flowers: Flowers on tall, upright branching stems to 75cm. approx.
Width: 30cm. approx.
Position: Full Sun to Dappled Sun position, and this is prefered in areas with hard frosts as it will need a little overhead cover..
Soil: Although Purple Budgies is very un-fussy about soil type, it does insist on good drainage. So open up heavy clay soils with some gravel or sand. it is perfectly happy in sandy soil. It copes happily with a soil pH on either the acid or alkaline lime side of neutral. 
Frost: Hardy in frost to approx. minus 3C. If your area experiences harder frosts, plant it where it has a little overhead shelter from taller trees or shrubs.
Growth: Evergreen perennial. 

Other benefits

Beneficial for wildlife: Bees, butterflies and birds all enjoy working the flowers. And the long and repeated flowerings provides them with a steady food supply.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: Unattractive to the deer and rabbit palate, although of course if they are starving they will have a go at anything.
Care: An easy care and low maintenance option. Can be cut back after flowering if you wish to avoid self-seeding.  Otherwise it can just be left to self seed. It is easy to weed out and you can just keep the desired plants that growing in convenient spots.
Origin: Native of Portugal and Spain, so well adapted to hot and dry conditions.
All in the name: The name “triornithophora” means “bearing three birds” in Latin.
Though if you are being precise – sometimes the heads come with four budgies, so it may have to have a name change to “Three or maybe Four Birds Flying” 


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