This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(a name used by Dioscorides). Scroph-ulariacea. A hardy tufted plant 3 or 4 inches high, suited for steep sides of alpine gardens, where it produces in spring its racemes of small purple, rosy or white flowers.
One species, in the mountains of W. and Cent. Eu.: root-leaves crowded, opposite; stem - leaves alternate, oblong-spatulate, with a few coarse, rounded teeth: corolla-lobes 5, obovate, the 2 upper ones slightly smaller; stamens 4, in 2 groups, included; style very short, 2-lobed at apex: caps, ovate, obtuse, dehiscent. - Several species described in this genus belong in Zalu-zianskya. Not to be confounded with Lobelia Erinus.
Erinus should be planted in steep parts of the rockery where water cannot lodge on rainy days or in the winter and spring months. It needs slight shade from midday sun. Divided plants are chiefly sold in America, but the amateur can soon produce a good carpet by the use of seeds. When well established, the seeds are self-sown and the offspring gain in hardiness. It may be safest to keep a pot or two in a coldframe over winter, until the plant can take care of itself. In England, seeds may be sown in earthy holes of brick walls, and grown as informal masses on old stone steps. (J. B. Keller.)
Linn. Racemes 2 1/2. long; flowers 1/2in across, purple. April-June. B.M. 310. Vars. albus and carmineus, Hort., have white and crimson flowers respectively. variety hirsutus, Gren. (E. hirsutus, Hort.). More vigorous: leaves villous or hairy: violet-red.