Friday, July 16, 2010

White Alkanet

Like a lot of collector-gardeners, I like the unusual forms of things. If the plant is normally green, I want the yellow version. If it is normally yellow, of course I want the green version! (And if it comes in seven different colours, I want all of them, but that's a different story.)

So while I like the regular dark blue Alkanet, naturally I like the one with white flowers even better.

Now Alkanet, Anchusa officinalis,  an Herb sometimes used in dyeing, is not a particularly impressive garden plant. The leaves are raspy and mid-green, the stems are lanky, and the flowers are small. Numerous, but small. Still, I like it because the stems weave themselves in with other plants in the border and poke their bright blue flowers out here and there. They look pretty good with Daisies, Shasta or otherwise, or among Lamb's-ears or between stout Peony bushes. This spring, they happened to bloom at the same time as some very late tall white Tulips, and the effect was something to see. They do however seed around badly. I pull the ones I don't want, obviously, but I've been leaving some that bloomed in either paler blue or white. In one area I have white ones pretty much coming true from seed. Heh, heh.

(If anybody would like some seeds of White Alkanet, drop me a line.)

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